If you’re looking for a fun and unique RV trip to take before the end of summer, but have no idea to which destination you want the road to take you, then this article may provide the perfect solution to your dilemma! There’s so much to explore in this vast and beautiful country, so we didn’t have to search too far to discover this little RV vacation gem in the Northwest. The Oregon Caves National Monument is one of the best outdoors vacation destinations in the Pacific Northwest, and an RV vacation is the perfect way to get there and enjoy your visit!
To start off your trip, pick up your RV in Sacramento, and you’ll be rolling towards the caves in less than a day. On your way to the monument, make sure you pause to take in the redwoods of northern California. These giant trees have to be seen to be believed. The redwoods get so big that some have roads running through them! Your RV probably won’t fit through one of these natural wooden tunnels, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a great spot to stop and stretch your legs during the drive.
Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll need a good RV campground, and Lone Mountain RV is well-liked by visitors to the area. After setting up, head down to Cave Junction and grab a bite to eat. Lots of visitors enjoy the jerky at Taylor’s Country Store, but if you’re in the mood for something a bit more upscale (and historic) consider stopping at the “Chateau at the Oregon Caves.” This lodge is one of several that were built in Oregon in the 1930’s, and it is on the list of the Great Lodges of the National Parks. You can just get coffee if you like or stay for a whole meal in a dining room that has a stream running through it!
If there’s one thing you can count on in Oregon, it’s rain, and it was the effect of rainwater sinking through the forest floor that created the caves. The rain eroded the underground marble to the point that it created these rare and beautiful caves full of awe-inspiring formations. Exploring these caves is a great way to cool off from the summer heat. Kids love to go exploring and these caves are sure to bring out the kid in you as well.
The best way to visit the caves is by means of a park service guided tour. The professional park rangers can teach you all about the long history of these stone chambers. In addition to exploring through formations like the “Throne Room” and the “Ghost Room,” visitors can also walk along a creek that disappears into the ground and then flows through the cave itself. In all, the cave passages are more than 15,000 feet long. The park that surrounds the cave also boasts eight smaller caves.
During the summer you can take a tour that is guided by candlelight in order to get a feeling for the way the first explorers saw these natural wonders. Also, later in the year during October, guides deliver “Haunted Candlelight Tours” where you just might hear a few local ghost stories mixed in with the history of these spooky caverns!
Whether you decide to go now or to wait till later in the season, the Oregon Caves National Monument is fun trip for getting the whole family outside and exploring underground. Start planning your RV vacation today!
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Photo credits: Nature path by James Chang and the Oregon Caves National Monument center by James Wellington both are licensed under Flickr Commons.