The rain poured buckets of water down the windshield. Although there were three buses and several cars in the lot, the place looked vacant. The bolt to the gift shop left us drenched. Dripping all the way to the register, we purchased our tickets. Then – back out in the rain.
The long sidewalk curved up the hill through towering trees. We rounded the corner and saw the entrance that read: Crystal Cave.
It was a Tuesday in the beginning of June and the cave was saturated with school field trips. It made the experience more memorable as the students were so engaged and excited; it was contagious. You enter into a wooden addition to the cave and see a stairwell down into the cavern. You look up and see openings in the roof. They were vents to allow bats to enter and exit the cave freely when it is closed to the public. Crystal Cave did not want to take the natural habitat away from the bats, specifically North American brown bats.
The group slowly assembled in the wait area and approached the stairwell. Inside the cave it was a balmy 54 degrees. The guide cautioned not to touch any of the rock formations as they are still alive and the oils on our hands could kill it – stopping further growth. There was one formation you were able to touch. It was embedded in the walking path, the stones resembling cracked dinosaur eggs. Everyone bent down and felt it. It was incredibly smooth, like a river stone.
The shapes of the stalagmite, stalactite, and flowstone offered an attraction for children – the tour guide would show formations that looked similar to certain foods, creatures, or characters. Some examples were: the zoo complete with a lion and seal, a Star Wars ship, Snoopy on top of his dog house, Jack Frost’s head (pictured below), and lastly, the “Ice Cream Cone” which was in the Ball Room.
The Ball Room was the first vast open space in the cave of the tour. The ceiling was high and walls bowed out. It could be a perfect venue for many events – especially a unique wedding. They have held weddings in the cave. The first wedding took place on October 15, 1919 (a picture of the couple can be found here). More Crystal Cave history can be found here. Some interesting points were that cave exploring was a luxury in the past – so when exploring dark caves people would be dressed formally, men in suits and women in dresses. As a demonstration, the tour guide turned off all the recessed lighting to convey to the crowd how precarious it was fumbling around in the dark caves with a mere lantern.
Speaking of lighting, one of many present-day luxuries of the Crystal Cave are the “wish lights”. Wish lights are small red dot lights, almost like a laser pointer, that are cast on low hanging rocks. Their purpose is to caution patrons so they do not bump their heads. As the tour guide noted, they are called “wish lights” because if you did in fact bump your head you would have wished you saw that light. The cave also has a wishing well for patrons to throw pennies in and make a wish.
One of the most stunning parts of the tour is the view from the elevated platform in the back of the cave, which is also the turnaround point as the cave has only one entrance that is also the exit.
When the tour ends the park has miniature golf, a concession stand, and ice cream parlor all of which were unfortunately closed on this particular day.
They also have a gift shop where you can purchase gem stones, postcards, mugs, or your own geodes to crack open (highly suggested).
Crystal Cave is a fun adventure for adults and children in the Lehigh Valley – it’s definitely worth checking out!
Just the Facts:
- The tour averages about 50 minutes.
- Ticket costs: Adults $13.50, Children (age 4-11) $9.50, (age 3 & under) FREE.
- Group rates are available for 15+ people (more information here)