One reason that I want to return to Oregon Caves National Monument is to take advantage of their Introduction to Caving tour. Unlike the regular Oregon Caves tour, the Introduction to Caving tour gives people the chance to explore the cave in the true sense of the word. This means using caving gear which will be provided, including a helmet, a headlamp, knee-pads and gloves. During the introduction to caving tour you will learn how to climb and descend over rocky slopes and boulders, crawl on your hands and knees, cross uneven surfaces, and belly slide within the cave. Be warned that you will need to bring an extra change of clothes because you are going to get muddy. It sounds exactly like something that I would love to try.
The tours are offered on Saturdays beginning at 12:30 PM from July 11 through September 5 for $30.00 per person and will take approximately 4 -5 hours total, including instructional time before entering the caves. The Introduction to Caving tours are available on a first-come first-served basis and are strictly limited to six participants. There is a minimum age of 15 years old. Reservations can be made by calling (541) 592–2100 extension 262.
The Introduction to Caving tour will take you to areas within Oregon Caves National Monument which are not accessible on the regular tour. This includes the Snake Room, the South Room, and Marble Crawl. If anyone manages to go on this tour before I do, I would love to hear about your experience, but just from the description of it and the enthusiam that the Park rangers talked about it with me, I’m sure it will be worth every penny.