Crystal Cave | What You Need To Know Before You Go

Not far from the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin, 70 feet beneath the earth surface, you will find a world of total darkness, mystery and maybe a few bats. Crystal Cave is one of the longest caves in Wisconsin. Located just 30 mins from the Twin Cities, it’s perfect for some Family Fun!

Wait a second. Did I that just say bats? Yes, you read that right. As an adult, I know that bats are harmless creatures that come out at night and only eat mesquites and other insects. But there is something about the wings that still give me the hibbie jibbies. I was going to put on my big girl pants and play it cool. I just left that part off when I told the kids we were going.

Crystal Cave

Crystal Cave offers a variety of different tour opportunities. The regular tour gives you an hour walk through of the cave, well light and highlighting the different formations. They also offer private tours and flashlight tours. The flashlight tour leaves off the lights and lets you explore like a true caver!

What to Know Before You Go

Peeking into the past

Crystal Cave has several large sections of the classic cave formations, including stalagmites, stalactites, running water and even a few crystals. Everything was lit up and on display. Some of the fragile sections were under Plexiglas, to give them some extra protection from wandering hands.

One of the most amazing parts of a cave adventure is getting to see the fossils from when the country was once covered in ocean. They have a variety of different species including a Cephalopod. It was interesting to see the size these creatures. The tour guides do a great job of sharing all their knowledge of the life in that time.

Winged Creatures

Crystal Cave is home to 4 species of bats. Both a Little and Big Brown Bat, Eastern Pipistrelle and the Northern Myotis. We did get to see a few of them on our tour. We visited in Early Spring so all the bats were still hibernating. They will be coming out soon now that things have warmed up a bit. When you go, chances are they will be sleeping in various locations on the cave ceiling. It became a fun game in the group to see who could spot the bats. By the end of it, I was wishing a bat would wake up just to see it fly around.

Difficulty

This cave was very easy to traverse on the normal tour. There are a series of stairs but they only go down 3 levels. Compare this to Niagara Cave and it’s a cake walk. Our Niagra Cave experience was the reason my husband was hesitant to go this time. When the guide told us we were only had two more levels, we both let out a sigh of relief. While going down lower sounds glamorous. You don’t realize that you have to go up all those stairs again. Tack on any small children that might need help, and you’re in for a good workout, filled with judging eyes. This was not a problem here. Though I did wait until the back of the pack and gave my son a piggy back ride up do I didn’t hold anyone up.

The ground is fairly leveled out most of the way. The only problem is there are a few low-hanging sections, but your guide will be sure to point them out.

Walkways at Crystal Cave

Tunnels at Crystal Cave

Dress Appropriately

While it may be a beautiful summer day above ground, the temperature below is only 50 degrees. That sounds nice, but after 10-15 minutes it will be chilly. Come with a light jacket or dress in layers. Also wear appropriate footwear, like tennis shoes or hiking boots. In our group, there was a couple people that didn’t plan ahead and were in tank tops. They were miserably huddled together most of the time. Don’t let that be YOU.

Kids

If you have smaller children with you that want to be carried at any point, don’t wear nice clothing. They have been walking in cave mud and will have it all over their shoes. I remembered this from my last cave adventure and did my best to keep the shoes away from me, but it was impossible. You’re going to get muddy! Think of it as a souvenir!

Coins in the wishing room at Crystal Cave Wisconsin

COSTS

Cave Tour Only
Regular $15.98
Youth (3 ñ 12) 9.98
Children 2 & Under Free

Reservations are not needed.

Crystal Cave is located at W965 State Road 29 in Spring Valley, Wisconsin. Or by phone at Phone: (715) 778-4414

If you are looking for more to do in Wisconsin, check out Wisconsin Day Trips by Mary Bauer. She has a lot of great ideas.

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23 Comments

  • Reply Carin May 10, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I’ve always loved these Caves. I wish I had encountered your pay before going, as I was a bit chilly. Great photos!!

    • Reply Jenn May 10, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Thanks, the cave photography is a little tricky 🙂

  • Reply Erica Myking May 10, 2017 at 11:44 am

    We went last spring for the first time and loved it!

    • Reply Jenn May 10, 2017 at 11:54 am

      It’s such a wonderful place. I’m glad you were able to experience it too!

  • Reply Alissa Schrank May 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Will have to check this out sometime!

  • Reply Leah May 10, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    This is right up my street! If I ever make it over to that part of the states I will be sure to check it out, thank you! Beautiful pictures too <3

    • Reply Jenn May 10, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      That’s happens to me all the time. It’s the stuff closest to home that we visit the least. Have fun when you go!

  • Reply Caitlin May 10, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    This was such a great read! Thanks for sharing 😊

    • Reply Jenn May 10, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      You are welcome!

  • Reply Kyntra Strickland May 10, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    I love exploring caves! It’s crazy how consistent the temperature is inside of them. This sounds like a great day trip. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Jenn May 10, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      I love the caves are a natural refrigerator. I can only imagine how nice they feel in the winter. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Jen May 10, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Caves are America’s best hidden secret, no pun intended haha. So many of them in places you would not expect! Crystal Cave seems massive, I’d love to visit 🙂

    • Reply Jenn May 10, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      I was just as surprised as you are on how many different regions you can find them in. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply Elle Pollicott May 10, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Such an interesting post – I’d never heard of Crystal Caves before, but your pictures look great!

    • Reply Jenn May 10, 2017 at 6:01 pm

      Thanks, Cave photography is always a little challenging!

  • Reply Katherine May 10, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    I’m glad to hear that you weren’t swooped by any winged creatures Jenn! When I lived in Australia, there were always bats in our fruit trees and walking from the carport to the house, I’d have to pass them at night, so I got used to them.
    The caving sounds like lots of fun, especially the torchlight tours!

    • Reply Jenn May 10, 2017 at 6:02 pm

      LOL. It didn’t take long before I got used to them either. Now I’m trying to convince my hubby to make a bat house for the back yard. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply Lara @ Find Your World Girl May 10, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    Ooh, I love caving! This looks like such a fun day trip! Thanks for the helpful tips 🙂

  • Reply Kate May 11, 2017 at 9:07 am

    This looks really fun! I have been to Wind Cave National Park a few times, but I never knew we had a cave so nearby! I will keep this in mind for something fun to do in the future!

  • Reply Livi Bee May 11, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    I never knew how much I’d enjoy exploring caves until I toured the one in curaçao. If I ever visit Wisconsin, Crystal cave is definitely on the lists. Thanks for the tips!!

  • Reply Bidisha Banik May 12, 2017 at 2:47 am

    I hadn’t heard of Crystal Caves but this is so interesting and worth adding to the bucket list. Great pictures by the way!

  • Reply Agness of aTukTuk May 25, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Jenn, the crystal cave is breathtaking and your post is very motivational! Well done.

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