ABOUT THE WALKING TOUR
The 45-minute guided walking tour departs from the Black Chasm Visitor Center and descends into the cave approximately 100 feet below the surface. A tour consists of no more than 25 people due to space constraints inside the cave. Guests will view three chambers in the upper levels of this vertical cave where the most spectacular formations grow. A beautiful blue lake is located in the second chamber about 80 feet below the viewing platform. Each walking tour requires descending and ascending 165 steps each way in and out of the cavern. While the walk is not especially strenuous we recommend that guests with joint or heart/respiratory issues consider their abilities before participation. An experienced Cavern Naturalist will guide each group into the cave and explain the varied features of Black Chasm as well as the science of Speleology as it pertains to this remarkable cavern.
Reservation are needed only for groups of 15 or more.
Reservations may be made in advance by calling the caverns at (209) 296-5007.
HOURS OF OPERATION
Monday - Friday: 11AM - 3PM
Saturday - Sunday: 10AM - 4PM
* Hours of operation may change at anytime.
**Cave may close due to extreme weather conditions. Please call ahead for road conditions at (209) 296-5007.
On the day of your reservation please make sure to arrive at least ½ hour before the start of your first tour. For example, if the first tour in your rotation schedule is due to depart at 10:20, plan to arrive no later than 9:50. If your group arrives late we will do our best to accommodate you, but please understand that as a public attraction we must keep our walk-in guests in mind as well. If you are unable to arrive on time please call Black Chasm as soon as possible so we can accommodate your group as best we can. Please note that there is little to no phone service in the areas surrounding Black Chasm.
What to expect
Black Chasm is located just outside the town of Volcano at an elevation of 2250 feet. Summertime temperatures outside the cave reach over 100 degrees and in the winter time temperatures can be at or below freezing with up to a foot of snow possible. The cave itself, however, is always 58 degrees inside.
There are no age requirements for the tour but please be aware that infants and children may not be carried in backpacks. Front-packs are ideal for this trip and we have several loaners we can provide if necessary. Carrying children in arm is possible but not advised due to safety reasons.
Black Chasm is a very well preserved cavern, to continue this we must restrict what guests can bring into the cave.
On the tour absolutely do NOT bring:
- Chewing gum
- water (including bottled water or camel-back style back-packs)
The delicate chemistry and biology of the cave can be dramatically altered by any of these items.
- Camera attachments such as extra lenses or tripods/selfie sticks. These items can be dropped and lost in the cavern and could possibly damage the ancient crystal formations irreversibly.
- Backpacks or large purses are not permitted. These items reduce the amount of space available on the tour and could damage the cavern by scraping against the crystal walls.
- Pets and emotional support animals are not allowed inside the cave for any reason. Service animals with proper documentation are allowed as per California law but please be aware that leashes are a tripping hazard and any mess is the responsibility of the owner.
- Walking sticks are not allowed because they create a tripping hazard and can damage the crystal formations. Guests can bring their walking sticks to the mouth of the cave, but not inside. There are handrails along the steps throughout the cave.
Due to the stairs necessary to travel within the cavern, Black Chasm is not wheelchair accessible