We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Really just a large hole. 200+ steps down”
Review of Moaning Cavern

Moaning Cavern
Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in Vallecito
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Gold miners first explored Moaning Cavern in 1851, but Native Americans had revered the site for centuries because of the haunting, moaning sounds coming from the entrance. Today, visitors enter by descending a metal spiral staircase. Or make reservations for an exciting two-hour Adventure Trip. Above ground activities: gemstone mining, gold panning, free nature trail. School program available. Open every day, year round. We try to maintain our operational hours at Trip Advisor.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Nothing against the nice people that work there, but having toured other caverns this was really disappointing and over priced. For $17 per adult (over 12) you go into a room for 5 min to hear about the cavern's discovery. Then, you head down very tight single file about 4 groups of wooden stairs to a landing area that overlooks the "cavern." At this point the guide discusses the cavern a little more and there is an area you can touch. The only area that is hands on, for good reason. Next you head down the metal cage spiral stairs, about 200 of them that you can see on line. Once at the bottom, the guide shines the light on a few of the formations, discusses their age and development over time. They turn out the lights so you experience total darkness. Of course, you will have idiots whose cell phones are left on. Then you take a picture or 2 and head back up all the steps. About 240 down. Head back up. Entire "tour" takes less than an hour.

I have toured caverns that you walk in different rooms. This isn't the case here. I personally wouldn't waste my money for this again.

I am not complaining about the workers. They were very nice. But $70 for the 4 of us to walk down over 200 stairs and just stand there we found ridiculous. Not a true cavern tour.

Thank Karley S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (168)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"spiral staircase"
in 36 reviews
"adventure tour"
in 14 reviews
"zip line"
in 29 reviews
"walking tour"
in 15 reviews
"basic tour"
in 7 reviews
"fear of heights"
in 6 reviews
"visitor center"
in 4 reviews
"answered all our questions"
in 2 reviews
"total darkness"
in 2 reviews
"interesting formations"
in 3 reviews
"stair case"
in 4 reviews
"gift shop"
in 6 reviews
"main room"
in 3 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 2 reviews
"climbing wall"
in 5 reviews
"take your time"
in 2 reviews
"an interesting place"
in 3 reviews

6 - 10 of 168 reviews

Reviewed 28 March 2018

It was a wonderful experience , guide was very good. The sights & sounds in a cavern are to be experienced. Very warm had on a sweatshirt and not needed . First time underground and beautiful..

Thank connieahaines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2018 via mobile

Our family visited on our way to Yosemite and we had the best time!! We all did the zip line and then the Adventure Trip in Moaning Cavern. I’m afraid of heights so both things were out of my comfort zone. Lots of stairs on the walk out of the cave. My 13 year old also did the Gemstone mining and both boys did the Geode Cracking. All of the employees were so nice and informative, we would definitely go back again!

If you’re interested in getting video on the zip line make sure to ask before you pay, we would have loved that but didn’t hear about it until after we’d gone.

Thank Dragonfly10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2018

The cavern is beautiful. If you have time & are more adventurous than me, book ahead and do the adventure visit. The guides were exceptionally knowledgeable & engaged, so I imagine the more hands on experience would have been amazing. Thoroughly loved or visit, loved the way they made you reconsider depth perception, the explanation of the different formations & how they came about. Thought turning off all of the lights was really clever & gave a different perspective on exploration. Would visit again.
Outside, there's a climbing wall, zip wire & places to pan for 'gold ' - loads of families having a great time.

Thank LouiseNE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 11 November 2017 via mobile

I took my troop of ninth grade Girl Scouts here yesterday and we all had a great time. They loved it and would definitely come back. It was the first time caving for most of them so we did the basic tour. A couple were initially a bit scared of the steep staircase, but ended up embracing this adventure and really enjoying it. Our tour guide was wonderful and full of information. I enjoyed the part where she demonstrated what it was like exploring Moaning Caverns years ago. The price for the tour was reasonable and won't break the bank for an afternoon of family fun which I appreciate. All in all it was a day well spent and I would recommend Moaning Caverns. There's a lot more to do here than caving, but we didn't have enough time for those things unfortunately.

Thank That N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Moaning Cavern also viewed

Murphys, Calaveras County
Angels Camp, Calaveras County

Been to Moaning Cavern? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing