Josephine County, Ore. — The Oregon Caves have been a staple of the Illinois Valley for more than a century. But even if you’ve been there in years past, there’s more territory than ever to explore.
Last year, the area became known as the Oregon Caves National Monument and preserve. The declaration added nearly 4,000 acres of land to the area, meaning rangers are now looking after more caves, waterfalls, and lakes. It also declared River Styx, an underground river, a National Scenic River. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley said, “That river comes from water that percolates down the mountain and so protecting the watershed above the mountain in an important piece of protecting the cave.”
Inside the caves, visitors can take a number of tours including one by candlelight. It’ll give you an idea of what early explorers might have seen inside these caves.
While temperatures outside the caves may be hit 100 degrees often this time of year, the temperature inside is 44 degrees year-round.
And if you’re looking to expand your trip to the caves, a night at the historic chateau may be up your alley. The 6 story building, built in 1934, sits in a marble canyon.
Walking inside is like taking a step back in time. The furniture reflects the original interior design and the wood frame and scent give you that nostalgic feeling of old-time comfort.
There is no doubt about it, with so much history surrounding this area, there’s still plenty of new places to explore.