Now Open: Crystal Cave

The subterranean wonder is found in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.

IF MAY WERE A CHARACTER... in a children's picture book, it might be depicted as a yawning, stretchy sleepyhead, the kind of person who dons an old-fashioned nightcap to catch a little shuteye. Why to we cast the fifth month of the calendar as such? Because so much of the world seems to awaken come May, after the thaw is thoroughly and completely through, and after the schoolbooks are stowed, and after the proverbial shutters are thrown wide on vacation exploration. Many of our natural wonders stretch and yawn come May, by the by, though, of course, they've been around all winter long.

WHO HASN'T BEEN AROUND THEM, though, is us, for a number of harder-to-reach spots take a cold-weather siesta from human visitors, including the famous Crystal Cave of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. Located in the Giant Forest, in Sequoia National Park, the stalactite-y destination is mighty loved, given that it is "the parks' only commercialized cave." That means summertime see-it spots do go, so if you want to secure a date with Crystal Cave over the summer of 2016, best get on it, as the subterranean favorite made its annual debut on...

SUNDAY, MAY 14: Ready to eye its "3 miles of passage"? Or what makes it a "complex, 'anastomotic' maze" of a cave? Here's where you start. Note that "(t)ickets are never sold at the cave," so lining your adventure up well in advance is as smart as a stalagmite is old. Once there, though, "a polished marble stream" and all sorts of ancient rock formations await your admiration, silently, eternally. We're not assuming your admiration is a given, but, please; caves are cool, through and through, and not just temperature-wise. Is this your summer to see a mid-California gem? Crystal Cave is waking up and stretching, just in time for its annual visitors, so hop to it.

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