Moaning Caverns

Out in the western Sierra Nevada foothills, there are a series of amazing adventures to be had, including several great spelunking excursions. Moaning Caverns allows you to rappel 165 feet into an amazing cavern for their adventure tour, and California Caverns offers a “Middle Earth” tour that cannot be beat. I highly recommend going to check out some of these great spots for a day or weekend sometime during the dry season.

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Climbing out of the “Womb Room.” Photo credit: Friendly tour guide

The Middle Earth tour takes you deep into the California Caverns system, for approximately a mile of trekking (walking, crawling and climbing) underground. Highlights of the tour including crowding into the tiny “Womb Room” with your tour group, taking a boat or swimming across an underground lake, spectacular rock formations and knee-deep mud. This tour can be quite time-consuming (about four hours) and a little pricey, but is well worth the investment.

While this little adventure can easily be a day trip from the Bay Area, I highly recommend staying over and combining with a visit to Columbia. This state park/historic down features actors in period dress along with fun activities like panning for gold, stage coach rides and candle-making.

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