Moaning Caverns Student Kit
Calaveras County, CA
- Access to our entire Kit Materials Vault, with fun facts, multi-disciplinary project starts, worksheets, and a teaching manual
- Reserved space on our Master Explorers page
- Student entrance
- Ticket/reservation insurance and educational planning support
Moaning Caverns was discovered in the 1840s by gold miners but are artifacts and bones found in the cave that date back hundreds of years and give us some insight into these ancient people. A necklace, displayed at the visitor center, was found in a clay layer and is estimated to be over 8,000 years old!
The name comes from the moaning sounds that echoed out of the cave. Miners may have heard that sound when they came to this area in large numbers during the late 1840s. In their search for gold, they explored the cavern, entering through the small natural entrance and then lowering themselves to the floor of the main room by means of a large ore bucket on a winch. They used candles and whale oil lamps for light. Today you can explore Moaning Caverns on a cave tour, deep underground!
They recommend that you do some research before heading to the caves – study a map to know the best route so if the navigation system tells you to go a certain way and your research showed otherwise, ignore the system! Bringing a printed map with you is highly recommended.
Due to the nature of the adventure in the cave, there are no backpacks, water bottles, food, camera attachments, etc. allowed in the cave. The tour is a little less than an hour, and there are emergency kits located throughout the cave that include water and first-aid so there shouldn’t be anything you need to bring.
The cave environment is a pretty consistent 61 degrees, and the tour includes 235 stairs down, and then back up, so dress accordingly. Most guests are comfortable in shorts and short sleeves, but if you tend to get chilly you might want to bring a light sweater. All ages are welcome, but strollers aren’t allowed, so all guests need to be able to walk fairly sure-footedly on their own. Your students will love the adventure of traveling deep into the earth to explore incredible geology!