Mercer Caverns in California

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Mercer Caverns

Mercer Caverns, a unique archaeological find not far from Yosemite National Park, displays fascinating geological formations, frosty colored rock walls and intriguing stalagmites within 10 large cave rooms. Read More

  • Mercer Caverns is a unique archaeological find, not far from Yosemite National Park
  • Tour unique cavern rooms with fascinating geological formations
  • Mercer Caverns California is open all year
  • Adult admission is $16, and children ages 3 to 12 are $9
  • These caverns were the burial grounds for the Yokuts Indians

Overview

California Mercer Caverns is a unique place to find some marvelous geological wonders, attracting thousands of tourists each year. You’ll enjoy interesting tours among some unique cavern rooms. Located in Murphys, California, these caverns are set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada foothills, not far from Yosemite National Park.

Location/Directions

Mercer Caverns CA are in Calaveras County, just outside Murphys, California. You can get to Murphys from Yosemite by taking California Highway 120 out of the park, and driving about 40 miles to California Highway 49. Follow 49 to Parrotts Ferry Road, bearing right and continue to Highway 4. Turn right on Highway 4 and you’ll reach Murphys in about 3.3 miles. Take Murphys’ Business District turnoff.

Contact information: 
1665 Sheepranch Rd.
Murphys, CA 95222
Phone - 209-728-2101

Hours/Seasons

Summer Hours (Memorial Day Weekend - Labor Day): 9am-5pm. Winter Hours: 10am-4:30pm. Mercer Caverns is closed on Christmas Day.

Fees

Mercer Caves have the following admission fees:

  • Adults: $16
  • Children (ages 3 to 12): $9

More Info

This amazing cave was originally used by prehistoric Yokuts Indians. It was their mortuary cave where they would bring the bodies of their dead. When this tribe moved, the entrance to the cave slowly filled with debris until it was completely hidden from view.

It was in 1885 that Walter Mercer, a gold prospector, discovered the caves while resting from the summer heat. Mercer had apparently found a tiny hole, not much bigger than a fist, which was sending up cool air. After dropping a rock down the hole, he realized the rock had taken a very long time to reach the bottom. Excited and very curious, Mercer returned later with candles and ropes, exploring further and making it into what is now known as Gothic Chamber.

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