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Oregon Caves National Monument


Elijah Davidson didn't know what to expect as he chased after his dog, Bruno, on a cold day in 1874 in the hills of Southern Oregon. Bruno was chasing a bear into a dark hole. Davidson could hear Bruno's howl but could not see him, and he felt no choice but to follow him. Striking matches to light his way, the last match flickered and died and the pair were deep inside a pitch-black cave with a bear. Davidson found a chilly stream and followed the water back to daylight. Bruno did the same.

That day, Davidson had accidentally discovered today’s Oregon Caves National Monument, a collection of chambers and passages that experts estimate are 3 to 5 million years old.
That same dark hole that Bruno ran in is now the entrance to a geologic wonderland open to visitors to experience.

Deep within the Siskiyou Mountains are 480 acres of dark, twisting passages that await discovery. Eons of acidic water seeping into marble rock created and decorated the wondrous “Marble Halls of Oregon.” Join a tour, get a taste of what caving is all about, and explore a mountain from the inside and out.

Oregon Caves is at the end of a winding, Highway 46 about 20 miles uphill from Highway 199 and Cave Junction. Among the attractions at the remote monument is the Oregon Caves Chateau, a six-story hotel built in a rustic style in 1934. It is a National Historic Landmark and is part of the Oregon Caves Historic District within the monument. Activities at the park include cave touring, hiking, photography, and wildlife viewing. One of the park trails leads through the forest to Big Tree, which at 13 feet in diameter is the widest Douglas fir known in Oregon.

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A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about Oregon Caves National Monument

Oregon Caves, established as a national monument in 1909, is a solutional cave with over three miles of passages all formed in marble.

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