Gold Country California Visitor Information

Mercer Cavern

Mercer Caverns, world famous for the rare Aragonite flos ferri, celebrated its one hundredth year of discovery and operation on September 1, 1985.

It is the longest continually operating commercial caverns in the state of California. The owners have guest books signed by paying customers – dating back to September of 1885 to present – indicating that visitors were welcome at Mercer Caverns every year since its discovery.

Thousands and thousands (the first of whom descended on ropes) have enjoyed and marveled at this three million year old cave – including royalty and a president. Mercer Caverns has up-dated the stairs, walkways and lighting though always cognizant of its responsibility to present this living limestone cave in its original beauty. The management has carefully protected and preserved these ancient formations and presented this gift of nature in such a historical manner that the significance of its value makes a lasting impression upon all who visit.

The cave was originally used by a prehistoric Indian Tribe called the Yokuts as a mortuary cave. They would bring bodies to the opening and let them roll down inside. Because such a site was sacred, no one was allowed to enter. The Yokuts were hunters and when the game was gone they moved camp. Slowly over the years, the entrance filled with dirt, leaves and rocks and was completely lost until the year of 1885.

Mercer Caverns is located in Calaveras County about eight miles from Angels Camp and just about one mile outside of the historic town of Murphys at 1665 Sheep Ranch Road.

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