Mercer Caverns - Murphys, CA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member The Pirate King
N 38° 09.076 W 120° 28.686
10S E 720977 N 4225604
Mercer Caverns, discovered in 1885, has some of the most beautiful limestone rock formations nature has ever created.
Waymark Code: WM14KGZ
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 07/21/2021
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member Mark1962
Views: 1

On September 1, 1885, gold prospector Walter J. Mercer accidentally discovered a small opening in the earth from which cold air was blowing. He enlarged the opening and slid down into what he thought was a gold mine -- and discovered instead a limestone cave with a small pile of human bones inside. Unsurprisingly, he hightailed it on out of there, but later returned with two friends to explore the caverns. The bones turned out to be Native American skeletons, which gave the cave its first name: "New Calaveras Cave." Mercer and the other explorers soon determined they'd struck gold of a different kind, and from 1885 onward there were paid public tours of the caverns. These days the caverns are lit by electric lights rather than candles, and guests go up and down stairs rather than using ropes and ladders, but the same beautiful limestone formations remain.

The Mercer family operated cave tours for 61 years, selling to the Carter family in the mid-1940s; the cavern was sold again in 1965 to two businessmen, Burke Malcolm and Bruce Prather. It is now managed by Bernard Ingram.

During the late 1960s and into the 1970s, floodlights with color filters added rainbow colors to Mercer Caverns. This practice has since been discontinued, and guests may now view the natural limestone colors of the cave under unfiltered light.

Visitors should be in good health and able to negotiate stairs easily; they will be descending and climbing the equivalent of a 16-storey building, though the tour has regular stops for people to catch their breath and observe the cave formations. Visitors are also advised to leave all purses and bags at home, though they may bring cameras or cell phones to take pictures inside the caverns.
Type of Land: Private Land

Managed By: Bernard Ingram

Contact Info: (209) 728-2101

Website: [Web Link]

Type of Cave: Other

Contains Stalactites: yes

Contains Stalagmites: yes

Contains Bats: no

Price of Admission: 19.00 (listed in local currency)

Visit Instructions:
Please include a digital photograph of the cave which documents your visit and any information that may be helpful for future visitors.
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The Pirate King visited Mercer Caverns - Murphys, CA 07/08/2021 The Pirate King visited it