Extra: Oregon Caves

Orca Millers Chapel
Orca Millers Chapel

Many people like to climb to the tops of mountains in Oregon. However, some people like to go inside a mountain. They like to explore the Oregon Caves.

The Oregon Caves is a national monument in the Siskiyou Mountains of Southern Oregon near the town of Cave Junction. Visitors explore a maze of paths and rooms underground. One room is 220 feet below the surface!

In the 1850s, settlers were looking for gold. One man did not find gold. Instead, he found the caves. His name was Elijah Davidson. Here is his story:

Elijah climbed up the mountain. He breathed heavy. His heart pounded.

He called for his dog. “Bruno!” He heard the dog barking, but he could not see the dog. He looked and looked.

First he saw a stream of water. It came from the rocks, but he did not know where it started.

Then he heard more barking. He saw a dark hole in the rocks. The barking came from an opening in the rocks.

Elijah lit some matches. He entered the dark cave. He saw unusual rocks above him. The water flowed on the ground below him. He climbed the rocks to keep his feet dry.

He used the light from his matches. He looked all around. His matches burned and burned. Then the matches were gone, and it was dark.

Elijah was afraid. He did not know what to do. He could not see anything. He stopped and thought.

Then he heard the water. He knew what to do. Follow the water, he said to himself. The water goes out of the cave.

It was a long walk in the water. Soon he was in the sunlight again. He looked at his watch. It was three long hours!

He sat down to rest. But what about his dog Bruno? Elijah stood up and ran to the cave again. Then he heard barking. Bruno was there.

Elijah and his dog returned to their camp. The man told his friends about the cave, the water, and the unusual rocks. His friends did not believe him. However, Elijah took his friends to the cave the next day. He showed his friends that his story was true.


Comprehension Questions

Writing Question

Use your imagination. Write 3 or 4 sentences. Wrie a story. What happens when you visit the Oregon Caves?


Oregon Caves Layout Map
Oregon Caves Layout Map


“Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve (U.S. National Park Service).” Nps.Gov, 31 Dec. 2016, https://www.nps.gov/orca/index.htm.

“Travel Oregon.” Travel Oregon, 31 Dec. 2016, https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/oregon-caves-national-monument/.

The image “Orca Millers Chapel” by Roger Brandt, NPS (park http://www.nps.gov/orca) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

The image “Oregon Caves Layout Map.” Npmaps.Com, 2018, http://npmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/oregon-caves-layout-map.jpg.


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Seven Wonders of Oregon Copyright © 2018 by Timothy Krause is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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