Mercer Caverns

Beautiful, unusual crystalline formations; stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, curtains, Angels wings, and more. Mercer Caverns, world famous for the rare Aragonite flos ferri.  It is the longest continually operating commercial caverns in the state of California. The owners have guest books signed by paying customers - dating back to September of 1885 to present - indicating that visitors were welcome at Mercer Caverns every year since its discovery.

Discovered on Sept. 1, 1885, by Walter J. Mercer, Mercer Caverns is one of the oldest continuously operating show caves in California. Located in the heart of the California Gold Country in the Sierra foothills of Calaveras County just outside the historic gold mining town of Murphys, Mercer Caverns has been welcoming visitors for over 125 years. Visitors taking a tour of Mercer Caverns have the opportunity to view an amazing variety of cave formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, columns, flowstone, helictites and soda straws. At one of the deepest parts of the caverns visitors will be able to see a beautiful and delicate array of aragonite crystals for which Mercer Caverns won a Grand Prize at the 1900 Paris World Exposition. Visitors also have the opportunity to experience a world of total darkness when the lights in the caverns are briefly turned off. Designated as California Point of Historic Interest #004, Mercer Caverns is truly a jewel of the Motherlode.


Latitude: 38.1374202 Longitude: -120.4596437 Elevation: 2176 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Lisa Mayo

Seasons Accessible

Cave tours last about 45 minutes.

Beginning Memorial Day Weekend  and lasting through Labor Day, Mercer Caverns opens daily at 9:00 a.m.  The first tour departs at 9:30 a.m., and the last tour departs at 5:00 p.m.

The rest of the year Mercer Caverns opens daily at 10:00 a.m., the first tour departs at 10:30 a.m., and the last tour departs at 4:30 p.m. Mercer Caverns is closed on Christmas Day.


$16.00 for adults and $9.00 for children ages 3-12 years Group rates are available for groups of 10 or more people.

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