We are able to have multiple tours in different sections of our cave system at the same time. Tours depart frequently and we adjust the frequency of departure based on how busy we are, to minimize wait time. If you and others in group are getting tickets separately be sure to let us know at the counter so you can be on the same tour (unless your group is larger than our max tour size).
No, the cave is fun rain or shine and is not affected by the weather. Please dress appropriately for the surface weather as you may spend some time outside on the surface walking between buildings.
The cave temperature is 50°F (10°C) and with high humidity. Jackets or sweatshirts and closed-toe shoes are recommended, but not necessary. In our visitor center we have a great selection of Crystal Cave sweatshirts and T-shirts available for purchase.
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 general cave tour.
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. The lighting in the cave is 2700K.
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.
Of course! Many people use the camera on their phone for photography. We should mention that there is no cell service underground.
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 stroller in our back offices during your tour (free), just ask a staff member at the ticket counter.
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 State Park 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.
Yes, small purses or bags may be brought on the tour, provided they fit inside the "size test box" located in our gift shop. 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 or you may store your items in your car.
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, 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.
Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian (i.e. an adult) during the cave tour.
There are 70 ft (7 stories) of stairs and ramps to enter and exit the cave.
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.
No, the tour is not suitable for all guests but it is suitable for all ages. 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.
Yes, you may buy tour tickets when you arrive. There maybe an additional wait before the cave tour on certain days. Typically days with additional wait time are spring and fall weekday mornings when we have school groups or weekends during the summer. You can always look at our online booking system to see availability even if you want to purchase tickets when you arrive. For example if there is no availability for a time slot online, plan on arriving at a different time or be prepared for an extended wait.
No! The tour is fun and educational. We are a popular destination for families, and school field trips.
Tee-Rex Mini Golf is outdoors. It is closed during severe weather. During light rain or cold weather, it is up to your group to decide if you would like to play. If you purchased a round for Tee-Rex Mini Golf and the weather has changed we would be happy to offer you a refund.
Tee Rex Minigolf is an 18 hole course and 9 of the holes are wheelchair and stroller friendly. The other 9 holes include several flights of stairs. Overlooking the course there is a concrete surfaced patio.
For large groups (schools, summer programs, etc) we suggest starting on multiple holes. For example you could have 6 guests start on hole 1, 6 guests start on hole 2 and so forth. Please talk to our group coordinator about logistics if you would like to add Tee Rex Mini Golf to your group's activities.
The course is officially open May 1 through October 31. During April the course is open as long as there isn't snow on the course. On busy days you may purchase a round of golf from the kiosk building at the course itself. On other days please visit the main gift shop to purchase a round of golf.
The gem panning sluice is covered but not heated. Guest can pan for gems during rain. During severe storms the sluice will be closed.
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.
Yes! 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.
Not everyone in my group would like to pan for gems. Are we all able observe while part of the group is panning?
Yes! It's OK if not everyone in your group wants to purchase gem panning ore, your entire group is still welcome at Prospector Creek!
Yes! The fossils, mineral, and gems are all real. They are from all over the world, depending on where they have been discovered.
There are two campgrounds close by; Highland Ridge Campground and Nugget Lake County Park. There is no overnight camping for general public at Crystal Cave.