FAQ


  1. Does the weather affect the cave tour or gem panning?
  2. Are you open on Memorial Day, 4th of July or Labor Day
  3. Are cameras allowed in the cave?
  4. Are cell phones allowed in the cave?
  5. Can I take my child into the cave in a stroller or backpack carrier?
  6. Is the tour wheelchair/walker accessible?
  7. Can I bring my purse/camera bag/backpack into the cave?
  8. We are traveling with our pets, what options do you have for pets?
  9. What age is recommended for Prospector Creek® gem panning?
  10. What are our options for food while visiting Crystal Cave?
  11. Can children take the tour alone?
  12. How many stairs are on the tour?
  13. Is the tour suitable for everyone?
  14. Is there parking for RVs or Trailers?

Does the weather affect the cave tours and gem panning?

No, the cave is fun rain or shine and is not affected by the weather. The gem panning sluice is outside but covered and we also have a covered, but not heated , picnic pavilion for those less than perfect days. Please be aware of the weather conditions on the surface and dress appropriately.

Are you open on Memorial Day, 4th of July or Labor Day

Yes, we are open on all summer holidays and with normal hours. We are open 7 days a week from April 1 to October 31!

What type of clothing is recommended?

The cave temperature is 50°F (10°C). Jackets or sweatshirts and closed-toe shoes are recommended, but not necessary. In addition, you might be spending some time outside on the surface. In our visitor center we do have a nice selection of Crystal Cave sweatshirts and T-shirts available for purchase.

Are cameras allowed in the cave?

Yes, we allow point and shoot photography (no video or audio) inside the cave. Please be mindful that the tour will be moving through the cave so there is limited time to compose a photo. For this same reason tripod, monopods, or selfie sticks are not allowed in the cave.

Cave photography can be challenging. We recommend you use a high ISO setting on your camera and a slower shutter speed. For some cameras this may be called a "night sky" or "city-night" mode. Due to high humidity, many times a flash will illuminate the water vapor in the air, so if you see this "ghosting" effect, try to limit your use of flash.

If you are interested in more time to compose your shots or using monopods, tripods and slave flash units you may want to consider signing up for a custom tour

Are cell phones allowed in the cave?

Of course! Many people use the camera function on their phone for photography. We should mention that that radio signals do not pass through bedrock so there is no cell service underground.

Can I take my child into the cave in a stroller or backpack carrier?

While your child is welcome, strollers or backpack child carriers cannot be accommodated due to multiple flights of stairs and several low passages during the tour. We recommend a front mounted swaddle/sling carrier for little ones. We would be happy to store your stoller in our back offices during your tour (free), just ask a staff member at the ticket counter.

Is the tour wheelchair/walker accessible?

Unfortunately, due to how Crystal Cave was naturally formed we enter the cave via a series of stairs and ramps. As such the tour is not suitable for wheelchairs or walkers.

Mystery Cave in SE Minnesota is entered through the side of the hill and, as such, they have an accessible tour. Please contact them for more information on accessibility options for their cave

Can I bring my purse/camera bag/backpack into the cave?

Yes, small purses or bags may be brought on the tour, provided they fit inside our "size test box" located in our visitor center. Larger bags or anything you don't want to carry may be locked in our complimentary lockers before the tour. The lockers are located in the basement assembly room and are free to use.

We are traveling with our pets, what options do you have for pets?

Our surface activities, including our nature trail and picnic grounds, are pet friendly. All pets must be on leash and under your control at all times. Please be respectful and you must clean up after your pet. If the weather is cool, you may leave your dog in your car, if the weather is hot we suggest either leaving your dog at home or having someone remain on the surface during the tour (one option is to switch roles after the 1 hr tour is over)

Service animals are permitted at Crystal Cave, including buildings. Due to the nature of some areas of Crystal Cave, services animals may not be permitted in all areas of the Cave. Service animal means a dog or other animal that is trained to do work or perform tasks for, and to assist, an individual with a disability. All other animals, including emotional support, comfort or companion animals are not considered service animals.

Crystal Cave does not allow pets, comfort animals and emotional support animals in our gift store, in any buildings or in Crystal Cave. This includes small breed dogs or other pets that are typically carried. If you have any questions please contact Crystal Cave.

Do not lie and claim your pet is service animal, it is immoral and makes it difficult for guests who have a disability and a real service animal.

What age is recommended for Prospector's Creek® gem panning?

Visitors of all ages enjoy panning for gems, minerals or fossils from around the world. You are guaranteed find a great selection in each bag of ore mix. All gems, minerals and fossils are real and everything you find is yours to keep! We include an ID card to help you identify your finds and at our ticket counter we have examples of what is found in typical ore bags. It is fun for young visitors or adults who enjoy identifying or collecting gems, minerals and fossils. Some guests have used what they found to make one-of-a-kind jewelry.

Gem panning is a separate surface activity from the cave tour. Please feel free to walk over to Prospector's Creek® and take a look at the sluice or watch other guests. The sluice is designed with low areas for young children, higher areas for adults and there is an ADA sluice section as well.

It's OK if not everyone in your group wants to purchase gem panning ore, your entire group is still welcome at Prospector Creek®!

What are our options for food while visiting Crystal Cave?

At our visitor center we offer cold drinks, ice cream, pre packaged sandwiches, muffins, donuts, fresh coffee, tea, and specialty candies. We also have numerous picnic tables in our shaded picnic grounds.. We also have a shared, covered picnic pavilion with 14 picnic tables. Within 1/4 of a mile there is a Subway restaurant. Feel free to grab a sub and head back to our shaded picnic grounds!

There are additional restaurants in the surrounding communities as well. If you would like to eat after your visit be sure to pick up our local dining guide when you are here. It lists a number of restaurants on your route home.

Can children take the tour alone?

Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian (i.e. an adult) during the cave tour.

How many stairs are on the tour?

There is a total elevation change is 70 ft down and 70 ft back up during the one hour tour.

Going down into the cave the first series of stairs is about 30 steps, which will bring you to the first level of the cave. You will then take a couple minute break before going down a short ramp that brings you to the second level of the cave. You will be on the second level for about five minutes and will then head down to the third and final level of the cave. There are two ramps and about 20 stairs total that bring you down from the second level to the third level of the cave. You will stay on the third level for a majority of the tour.

Going up to the surface from the third level you go back up the stairs and ramps to the second level which is where the final room is. You will spend about 5 minutes in the final room and then head back up the ramp to the first level of the cave. You will take just a moment before going up the rest of the stairs up to the surface.

Is the tour suitable for all guests?

No, the tour is not suitable for all guests. The tour consists of 7 flights of stairs and ramps. It is an hour long standing/walking tour. The tour is moderately strenuous; there are no elevators and limited seating options in the cave. There are some areas where you will need to be able to duck under lower hanging rocks. Due to the nature of the naturally formed cave it is not wheelchair or walker friendly. There is low lighting throughout the tour. The environment in the cave is cool (50F) and humid. If you don't think the tour is right for you, it is your responsibility to the other guests to not take the cave tour. There are plenty of activities on the surface for guests who feel that the cave tour is not for them.

Is there parking for RVs or Trailers?

Yes! We have a pull-through parking for oversized vehicles in a seperate parking lot

There is a particular RV, semi, and trailer friendly driving path to get to our oversized vehicle parking lot. When you come up the driveway turn right, toward our gift shop. Follow the signs for oversized vehicles - drive up to the front of the gift shop (don't cut through the auto parking lot). Continue to loop around, past the gift shop and past Prospector's Creek gem panning. You will come to a fork in the driveway. Continue straight (not left) and you see the RV parking lot to your left, across the paved driveway. The RV lot is suitable for RVs, trailers, semi-trucks, buses, etc. There is no overnight parking.