Mountain Ranch is a very small town but here you will find the first cave in California to be opened to the public for guided tours California Caverns. It opened in 1850 and was known as “Mammoth Cave.”
Historical marker number 956 states: The historical significance of California Caverns is well established as a major cavern system and as one of the earliest officially recorded caves (1850) in the Mother Lode region of California. The early commercial enterprise associated with California Caverns is evidenced by the historical documents verifying organized tourist activities as early as 1854. Although one of numerous caves in the Mother Lode region, California Caverns claims the distinction of having the most extensive system of caverns and passageways.
Black Chasm Caves an outstanding variety of speleothems, soda straws, flowstones and as mentioned, some of the best helictite formations in the West. Although it is privately owned the 60 acres was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1976. In 1996 careful construction of steps and walkways opened Black Chasm to cave viewing. Guests can explore the cavern from platforms with experienced and knowledgeable cavern naturalists offering a guided view the dazzling formations throughout the cave.
The cavern was part of the back drop scenery for the matrix underground city “Zion.”
For more information about the Mother Lode town nearby see West Point.
For up-to-date details about the cave view their Facebook page.
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