Petrified Gardens Oregon Caves

It doesn’t take long into the Oregon Cave National Monument Cave tour to get to some beautiful and interesting cave formations. After leaving Watson’s Grotto, you almost immediately reach Petrified Gardens where there are a lot of flow stones along the walls:

Flow stones at Petrified Gardens in Oregon Caves

Flow stone closeup at Petrified Gardens in Oregon Caves

And soda straws on the cave ceiling:

soda straws at Petrified Gardens in Oregon Caves

The next stop on the Oregon Caves tour is at the Dry Room.

Watson’s Grotto Oregon Caves

Once you have walked into Oregon Caves National Monument, you will immediately realize that the cave is pretty wet (there will be water dripping on you throughout the cave walk, so a waterproof jacket with a hood is highly recommended — and a hat at a minimum). The first stop is at Watson’s Grotto where you get a good look at the Oregon Caves river running through the cave:

Oregon Caves river

River at Watson's Grotto Oregon Caves

The walls of the cave at this point are a lot of openings and crevices, but no distinct formations:

Oregon Caves Watson's Grotto

The next stop on the Oregon Caves tour is at Petrified Gardens.

Oregon Caves Entrance

When you arrive at Oregon Caves National Monument, there is a short walk from the parking area to the visitors center. The walk is along a paved road and immediately gives a feel of the area with a lot of moss clinging to rocks and trees:

Oregon Caves moss on rocks

Oregon Caves moss hanging from trees

Once you reach the visitors center building, there is a beautiful waterfall that empties into a clear pond. This is the water that is coming out of the cave entrance from the river that runs through it:

Oregon Caves entrance waterfall

Oregon Caves entrance pond

It’s only possible to explore the Oregon Caves by guided tour which leave in groups of a maximum of 15 people on a regular basis depending on how crowded the day is. A guide will take you up to the Oregon Cave entrance where you will be greeted by a moss covered entrance:

Oregon Caves National Monument entrance

and a river flowing below you:

Oregon Caves river at entrance

The guided tour was wonderful providing a nice history of the cave with plenty of opportunities to take photos and ask questions. The first stop inside the cave on the Oregon Caves tour is at Watson’s Grotto.