Welcome to Oregon Caves National Monument. We are about to go on a virtual Oregon Caves tour. Hope you’re ready to climb 527 stairs in the next half mile, mostly up. In order to protect this special place, I will ask you not to touch the cave walls as oils from your skin are left behind and the story of this cave is based on water. Oil and water just don’t mix.
Entering Watson’s Grotto
The rock surrounding us is marble which metamorphosed from limestone that was once at the bottom of the ocean. Uplift caused cracks and fractures in the marble which was then dissolved and eroded away by the power of water.
Leaving Watson’s Grotto
At about 60 ft, deepest known Douglas Fir tree root
Enter the Belly of the Whale
Water erosion reveals the true shades-of-gray marble
Dynamite blasted connection tunnel
Jack’s Pass once had a bottle-jack sporting some rock fall
I call this the “heart” of the cave, Imagination Room
This imaginative heart shape is formed by a combination of mineral and bacteria. Originally named Gnome’s Milk in Germany, it is believed to have curative properties similar to Neosporin.
We’re almost to the next natural cave entrance, or exit if you’re ready to leave. Just up these stairs…
Stairs from Imagination Room
Originally called “Fat man’s squeeze”
Or continue with me deeper into the earth and discover more natural sculpture in part two of the tour.
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