INTO PLUTO’S CAVE WE GO
CAVERNS WITH KIDS
We decided on a whim to check these caves in Northern California that I had seen on someone’s instagram a long time ago. The photo that she posted had intrigued me, and I kept thinking about going for months. Finally we found the right day to head down to Pluto’s Cave to check it out!
From Medford, Pluto’s Cave is about 1hr 30min away. The last part of the drive is on a random dirt road that you think is going absolutely no where and out into the middle of a desert like area! But keep going! Because all of a sudden there will be a “parking area” and a small path. The path goes up over some rocks and leads right into the 1st cave.
We almost missed the cave! So keep a look out while you’re hiking along the path.
Be sure to bring flashlights/headlamps… phones with flashlights :) The kids had a blast searching around the caves. Next time we will make sure to bring enough flashlights for each kid (insert rolled eye emoji)
The first cave has a ton of graffiti, and also smells like urine… but apparently it’s from all the bat guano.
At first, we thought there was only one cave… and we were a little disappointed, but we left the first cave and realized the path kept going on!
Pluto’s Cave is an ancient lava tube that extends over a mile under ground! The coolest part of the caves in where part of the ceiling has collapsed, leaving a gaping hole and allowing a bright beam of light to illuminate the cave.
Harper’s favorite part were the cluster of butterflies that were surrounded one of the rocks in the beam of light.
Mt. Shasta was beautiful in the background of our hike to the caves!
From the beginning of Highway 97 in downtown Weed, proceed north on Highway 97 for 12 miles. Turn left onto County Road A12. Continue north on A12 for 3.2 miles. Turn left onto the poorly signed dirt road and proceed to the trailhead. The dirt road is shortly after the well signed turn off for the Juniper Valley OHV area. I read that there were Metallic letters spelling out “Pluto Cave” nailed to the telephone pole by the dirt road- but either we weren’t looking well enough or they just aren’t there anymore.
Let me know if you end up going! I’d love to hear your thoughts. We are heading to Klamath Falls to the Lava Tubes out there soon, and am anxious to compare the two :)