You have 3 trips in progress. See all
Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve is a protected area in the northern Siskiyou Mountains of southwestern Oregon in the United States. The 4,554-acre (1,843 ha) park, including the marble cave, is 20 miles (32 km) east of Cave Junction, on Oregon Route 46. The protected area, managed by the National Park Service (NPS), is in southwestern Josephine County, near the Oregon–California border.For Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve and beyond, use our Cave Junction journey planner to get the most from your Cave Junction vacation.
Elijah Davidson, a resident of nearby Williams, discovered the cave in 1874. Over the next two decades, private investors failed in efforts to run successful tourist ventures at the publicly owned site. After passage of the Antiquities Act by the United States Congress, in 1909 President William Howard Taft established Oregon Caves National Monument, to be managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS). The growing popularity of the automobile, construction of paved highways, and promotion of tourism by boosters from Grants Pass led to large increases in cave visitation during the late 1920s and thereafter. Among the attractions at the remote monument is the Oregon Caves Chateau, a six-story hotel built in a rustic style in 1934. It is a National Historic Landmark and is part of the Oregon Caves Historic District within the monument. The NPS, which assumed control of the monument in 1933, offers tours of the cave from mid-April through early November. In 2014, the protected area was expanded by about 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) and re-designated a National Monument and Preserve. At the same time, the segment of the creek that flows through the cave was renamed for the mythological Styx and added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
Oregon Caves is a solutional cave, with passages totaling about 15,000 feet (4,600 m), formed in marble. The parent rock was originally limestone that metamorphosed to marble during the geologic processes that created the Klamath Mountains, including the Siskiyous. Although the limestone formed about 190 million years ago, the cave itself is no older than a few million years. Valued as a tourist cave, the cavern also has scientific value; sections of the cave that are not on tour routes contain fossils of national importance.
Activities at the park include cave touring, hiking, photography, and wildlife viewing. One of the park trails leads through the forest to Big Tree, which at 13 feet (4.0 m) is the widest Douglas fir known in Oregon. Lodging and food are available at The Chateau and in Cave Junction. Camping is available in the preserve at the Cave Creek Campground, at a local USFS campground, and private sites in the area.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve reviews
Excellent tour, 1.5 hours. Lots of stairs but easy to traverse, lots of bending down and climbing stairs but enjoyable. Masks required, which most of the people on the tour ignored despite being...
Excellent tour, 1.5 hours. Lots of stairs but easy to traverse, lots of bending down and climbing stairs but enjoyable. Masks required, which most of the people on the tour ignored despite being... more »
Took my grandkids on the hour and a half tour. We really enjoyed learning about prehistoric Oregon. Tyler was an excellent guide. The kids went thru a ceremony to get their Junior Ranger...
Took my grandkids on the hour and a half tour. We really enjoyed learning about prehistoric Oregon. Tyler was an excellent guide. The kids went thru a ceremony to get their Junior Ranger... more »
Plan your trip to Cave Junction
- Get a personalized tripA full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
- Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
- Manage itEverything in one place. Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Cave Junction
Side trips from Cave Junction
Nearby attractions in Cave Junction
Wildlife in Cave Junction
Trips in Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve by other users
3 days in Cave Junction BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Eight Dollar Mountain Botanical Area Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum 3 days in Brookings BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Lone Ranch Beach Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor The Mary D Hume 31 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Florence Newport Astoria 1 day in Cave Junction BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Illinois Valley Visitor Center Tiger Preservation Center Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve 19 days in United States BY A USER FROM IRELAND Aberdeen Portland Medford 5 days in Brookings BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Welcome to California Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve Chetco Brewing Company