Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park
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Ninety feet from the entrance, an interesting side chamber branches off to the west. This passage is about three feet wide and filled with quiet water from an unknown depth to within three feet of the ceiling. It is blocked from the main entrance room by a mound of clay covered with flowstone, and indicates that a different type of circulation formerly existed within the cave. The passage has never been explored, but as far as it is possible to see into it by flashlight there is a maze of weird marble projections both above and below water, and myriads of beautiful stalactites directly above the water. This illustrates the fact that a cave does not necessarily have to be drained of water before stalactites can form, as some authorities maintain.

The trail from the entrance room follows beside the Stream through a high, narrow passageway beautifully adorned with a variety of stalactities. Here, also are good examples of coral-like growths in the rimstone basins and stone nests containing calcite eggs, or pisolites. This passage narrows to a small opening about three feet wide and ten feet high near the Junction Room. There is usually a breeze through this opening which moves outward in summer and inward during the winter, depending upon differences in pressure between the cave atmosphere and that of the outside.

The Junction Room, named because it is the junction of three trails, is about thirty feet wide, seventy-five feet long, and twelve feet high above the stream. It has an excellent display of cave decorations, containing many solution pits. Overhead there is a tortuous, winding passage incised through the marble. This passage connects with an interesting elevated chamber of complex design. In addition to many other interesting features, there is a series of many rimstone dams about eighteen inches high, enclosing basins up to five feet in diameter. These basins long ago lost the water which built them up. Also in the Junction Room, a great keystone pillar rises from floor to ceiling, and the remnants of undissolved marble hanging downward from the ceiling assume profiles that remind one of various animals and persons.

A scenic 1/2 mile leads from the parking area to the cave.

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Last Updated: 31-Jan-2007