Thursday, July 21, 2016

Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve: Cave Entrance

Oregon Caves: Entrance
Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve.  Oregon.  August 24, 2012
Copyright © 2016 A. F. Litt, All Rights Reserved

Photo of the Day by A. F. Litt: Day of Several Photos - July 21, 2016

In 2012, Oregon Caves was still just a monument.  The preserve was created in 2014, adding some 4,000 acres surrounding the monument to the area administered by the National Park Service, and the River Styx, the segment of Cave Creek that flows underground through the cave, was added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Styx is the only underground river in Wild and Scenic system.

The cave was discovered in 1874, and attempts were made to develop the site as a commercial tourist enterprise. These efforts failed, largely due to the remoteness of the location and the lack of roads to the cave itself, though there was quite a bit of damage done to the cave in the process.  The monument was created in 1909 by President William Howard Taft, and was originally administered by the Forest Service.  President Franklin Roosevelt's Executive Order 6616, signed on June 10, 1933, put all of the existing national monuments under the administration of the National Park Service.

This is a solutional cave in marble, not limestone, with around 15,000 feet of passages.  Eight other, smaller caves have been discovered within the monument, but only the main cave is open to the public (guided tours only, of course).  It is one of three out of 3,900-plus cave locations in the National Park Service system that is marble.  The other two are located in Kings Canyon National Park (Crystal Cave, etc.) and Great Basin National Park (Lehman Caves).

This was my second visit to the cave, the first since I was a kid.  We were on a week and a half camping trip around Oregon (with a dip down to the Redwoods in California), seeing if everyone had the endurance for longer trips across the country like the one we made in 2014.  It went well, for the most part, though we stayed within a day's drive from home just in case things turned black on us.  At Oregon Caves, late in the trip, we were all getting a bit weary, and the car almost headed home.  Luckily, we stuck it out and had a chance to run down to the Redwoods for a night or two before heading home.

Oregon Caves: Plaques at Cave Entrance
Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve.  Oregon.  August 24, 2012
Copyright © 2016 A. F. Litt, All Rights Reserved


NPS - Oregon Caves National Monument


NPS - Preserve Management Plan / Wild and Scenic River Study / Environmental Assessment (.pdf)

NPS - 2016 Centennial

No comments: