Trip Planner USA  /  California  /  Lakehead  /  Nature  /  Lake Shasta Caverns

Lake Shasta Caverns, Lakehead

Categories: Caves, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
3.9/5 based on 200+ reviews on the web
The Lake Shasta Caverns are a network of caves located near the McCloud arm of Shasta Lake in California. It was formerly named Chalk Cave and Baird Cave, named after Spencer Fullerton Baird.HistoryThe caverns are dated at least 200 million years, and were formed by flowing water. Over the years this water drained leaving the caverns seen today. The caves are made entirely of limestone, and feature every type of possible formation, including stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, columns, and flowstone. The Discovery Room, one of eight known rooms in the cavern system, contains all types of limestone rock formation. the first recorded white explorer was James A. Richardson, a federal fisheries employee. His claim of discovery is still clearly legible on the wall where he wrote it that day – November 11, 1878 – with carbide from his miner's lamp.Until 1964, Lake Shasta Caverns were seen each year by only a handful of hardy spelunkers who inched their way through steep, restricted natural fissures to view its startling formations. Before opening to the public, a new entrance was needed, as the current was a small hole in the ceiling, barely large enough for one man to fit through. Using explosives, workers blasted a tunnel from a rock face deep into the mountain, hoping to reach the lowest known room, the Basement. However, along the way, a large rock wall was knocked down, revealing the Discovery Room, perhaps the most fascinating room in the caverns. As a result of this, the Basement Room ironically is not the lowest room. The idea of preserving this natural phenomenon first came to Grace M. Tucker, an attorney from Chehalis, Washington. In 1955, she obtained sole ownership of the caves. In 1959, Mrs. Tucker, along with Roy Thompson and his two brothers, formed Lake Shasta Properties, Inc. The site was declared a National Natural Landmark in May 2012.
Take a look at our Lakehead family vacation planner to schedule your visit to Lake Shasta Caverns and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • If you like nature trekking, this is a nice 2-3 hour stop. A boat takes you across the lake to the caverns. Then, there's a short bus ride that takes you to the Cavern entrance. There's a lot of walki...  read more »
  • In case you have seen formations before, it is OK experience. However if this is first time for you, it becomes interesting. Lot of stairs, go for it if you are comfortable climbing stairs 
  • About a ten minute boat ride each way, ten minute bus ride each way and a one hour walking tour of the Caverns. We really enjoyed the overall experience. Our tour guide "Rochelle", was very knowledgea...  read more »
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 3​h
Visit for 2​h
Visit for 2​h 30​m