Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park
NPS Logo


The scenic features of the cave result from fantastic patterns and remnants of undissolved marble extending from ceilings, walls, and floors, and from the beautiful deposits formed by dripping water as it evaporates and loses carbon dioxide upon entering the cave. These formations collectively are termed dripstone. They Include the following:

Stalactites. Icicle-like formations suspended from the ceilings and ledges, commonly having a small tube in the center.

Stalagmites. Frequently built up from the floor by dripping water. They resemble stalactites but are usually thicker and blunt at the ends.

Columns. Formed when the above-named features join.

Helictites. Irregular branching growths extending in various directions in defiance of gravity.

Curtains or draperies. Thin, blade-like deposits extending from walls, or cascading in folds from ledges as curved double-edged stalactites, terminating in single, sharp points.

Flowstone. Coating or sheet-like deposits of dripstone.

Rimstone. Coral-like dams of ruffled dripstone enclosing basins arranged in a cascading series. Formed by evaporation of water around margins of pools.

Pisolites or cave pearls. Limestone concretions about the size of peas formed in flowstone basins around. particles of sand by dripping water.

In addition to the above, there are many slopes in the cave adorned with glittering deposits of crystals resembling frost. Most of these features are pointed out in the first room.

The cave parking area is situated near the edges of two life zones. Note irregular brush and tree line on opposite ridge.

<<< Previous <<< Contents>>> Next >>>

Last Updated: 31-Jan-2007