Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July 19, 2016

Currently the United States Forest Service is determining the details of rebuilding the small foot bridge which leads up to the cavern. Unfortunately the foot bridge burned in last years forest fire. We do not have any details about when the bridge will be rebuilt. Our best guess is Boyden will continue to be closed for the remainder of the 2016 summer season. To all our valued cavern visitors who have shown concern and support regarding this closure, thank you and please keep an eye on our blog so that when there are any updates you will be the first to know.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Minor Update 
 Please read beyond this entry for most up to date Information

Here is a link to the Porterville Reporter which talks a little about road and trail conditions into Kings Canyon. Rough Fire Road and Trails

Time to replace our Generators, any ideas on propane Gensets?

Kings gates and Boyden Cavern. Although looking good here fire burned along the marble roof pendant down to the Kings river

Monday, April 18, 2016

  Thank you all our valued guests:

We have been unable to appropriately update everyone on the status of Boyden Cavern until now and for that.....we are sorry.

WE did NOT lose the gift shop...... Many of you were very concerned for us and our loss, thank you for showing such kindness.

Unfortunately the news is marginal and will be some time before we know the "Rest of the Story". After the Rough fire last fall, Sequoia National Forest Ranger District closed off he entire area and only allowed short site visits to our area. Without enough time to access the damage to the surrounding Boyden infrastructure we believed that replacement of some of the trail, cleaning of the little Gift shop and rebuilding our generator building along with replacing the two propane 20Kw generators (see pics below), was about the extent of our damage. With bridge decking in hand, cement and a crew we would have been operational early May.

The unforeseen... Spring is here and highway 180 into the canyon is in great shape, thanks to a wonderful Cal-trans crew who takes a lot of pride in their work maintaining the highway. After a revisit by the United States Forest Service and it's engineer there seems to be concerned that the fire damaged the superstructure of one the bridges leading up to the cavern. Now we are waiting for word back from their people as to what needs to be inspected again and whether we will need a full-on team to rebuild the little walking bridge.

The future is all about getting our bridge back into some sort of safe form, this variable is the unknown and we will have to wait for official word from the Government. Our hopes are to be open by the end of May and before Memorial weekend. However please keep an eye on our Blog for the most up to date information.

Cavern and Gift shop are currently closed, there is NO public access to Boyden at this time. Unfortunately we are not taking reservations because we have no idea when we will resume operations.

This is the site of our power generation, we had two 20Kw Generators that operated on propane.

Unfortunately the building with the Gen Set also housed a lot of tools and equipment including welders, steel for trail and handrails, cement etc....

 Trees burned and then fell, the roots system supported parts of this trail section and when it went over the trail came up with-it.

One of the bridges that burned, this one may be ok After we re-deck it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fire maps tell one story....

According the fire maps and satellite photo's of the Rough fire, there were many hot spots and patches of raging fire which surrounded the Boyden office and staff camp. We were not optimistic that the camp would survive. Also with the canyon winds carrying fire embers blowing past our little gift shop there was a good chance the shop would not have survived. However the good news came in late Monday night (August 24, 2015) that the camp and gift-shop currently are not affected by the fire. Now there is plenty of fire left in Kings Canyon which could still affect us, but with the number of fire crews, tankers and equipment dispersed throughout the park and forest we can be cautiously optimistic that Boyden will be spared. How can we possibly thank everyone for their tremendous efforts and determination to protect our homes and business.  One sad story to report, Kings Canyon Lodge located  about 7 miles north of Boyden Cavern did fall victim to the fire, the lodge has been a favorite of many visitors over the years and a personal favorite of mine. I have known the Evans family for years and hope that they are able to recover from this and come back stronger than ever. If anyone would like to help the Evans family rebuild let them know by clicking on the Help Rebuild Kings Canyon Lodge Link

For more information on the Rough Fire I have three links available now
Hume Lake

Inciweb_Rough Fire Kings Canyon


We still have no word as to when the lower part of the forest and respective park including Cedar Grove will be open. I will keep updating our blog as I get information from my sources.

Finally I will try to speak with a geologist about how the fire will affect the lands, the highway into the canyon (tremendous rocks slides reported already), and with the possibility of a El Nino this winter how large rain and snow fall will affect the burned areas.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rough Fire Update

We have no anticipated opening of Lower Kings Canyon and Boyden Cavern

Kings Canyon is one of the deepest river carved canyons in the nation. With the canyon measuring at about 8000' deep with shear walls of rock, one would think that fire danger would be fairly minimal. The problem is along the south western edge of the canyon, brush and fuel for the fire is thick and dry.... Now the fire is moving toward Hume Lake at an amazing speed, just to the south of Hume Lake is an area called camp 7, an old logging area that was logged back when Boyden was in the area around 1906. What the loggers found were trees of enormous size in both height and girth. Giant Sequoias grow in this area and are approximately four thousand years old. Today the Rough fire is threatening these groves of Sequoias with the intensity of fire that these trees may have never had to endure. Although Giant Sequoias have an amazing fire resistant bark and historically have stood the test of time, the Rough fire may prove more than even these mighty trees can withstand.

Keep an eye on the below link and see all the smoke around Hume Lake, as we learn more we will update this page.   http://wildfiretoday.com/2015/08/18/rough-fire-east-of-fresno-ca-forces-evacuation-of-hume-lake/

Monday, August 17, 2015

Fire in the Kings Canyon

Effective Immediately 

Boyden Closed Due to Forest Fire


As of August 15th the United States Forest Service has closed Highway 180 at the Hume Lake turn off, approximately 14 miles above Boyden Cavern. All of the lower portion of Kings Canyon including Cedar Grove has been evacuated, that way fire crews can move along Highway 180 unhindered by general public and vehicle traffic. 

 Currently there is NO estimated reopening date, we have a high pressure area over the park and temperatures are high with conditions critically dry, our guess is there may be several days of Park closure or longer, please keep an eye on our blog for the most up to date information.

For those of you who would like the most current status on the "Rough" fire click on the below link.  

 Lower Kings/Boyden Rough Fire Status


Friday, May 22, 2015

4th of July Holiday through August

Boyden Cavern is located with in the Sequoia National Monument, 19 miles East of Grant Grove. Typically GPS does not recognize the location address so we suggest you navigate to Grant Grove CA located in Kings Canyon National Park, then continue East on Highway 180 for 19 more miles descending into the deepest river carved canyon in the country, just as the highway crosses the Kings River, Boyden Cavern will be on the right.

Here is a Google map to our location Boyden in Kings Canyon - Giant Sequoia National Monument

Boyden is open 7 days a week through end of August and 5 days a week through September.

Purchase your tickets at the small visitor center/gift-shop which is located right at the trail head to the cavern. Ticket prices are as follows.
  1. Adults 13 years and older $14.50
  2. Children 12 and under $8.75
  3. Children 3 and under free
  4. We accept Master Card, Visa and Discover Cards
Tours are conducted on the hour, first tour departs at 10:00 AM and continues through the last tour at 5:00 PM. Tours are about 1 hour long including a 5 - 7 minute hike up to the cavern entrance and back down. Please be advised that the walk up to the cavern entrance although short is considered strenuous, steep in two sections and for the average person will take your breath away.

Cameras are recommended and we suggest using a flash.

No advance reservation necessary for the holiday, just come by the visitor center and ask one of the guides for details. Tickets are purchased first come fist served on the day of arrival. Except for  Holidays or when we have school groups tours, wait times for tours are rarely more than 1/2 hour long.

Tours during holidays in the morning or late afternoons are the best time to visit and miss the crowds. Tours from 11:00 am through 3:30 pm tours can fill up and be sold out up to 2 hours, tickets can be purchased in advance. During the busiest time of the holiday management will begin adding tours on the 1/2 hour, so 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 11:30 throughout the day until at least 4:30.

Now if you are a group of 15 or more and would like to make a reservation there is a couple of things you need to know. Reservations can ONLY be made for weekdays and No Holidays, typically. Sorry for any inconvenience that may cause your group. Prices are based on time of year and which day is selected. Special request often are considered and if we can accommodate we would enjoy serving your group. Some of the special request we have had in the past:

  •  Early morning tour (sometimes on a holiday), ask at the visitor/gift-shop
  • Very late afternoon 6:00 PM or later, ask at the gift-shop
  • Flash Light only -  Oh and very fun!! and only in the evening, ask at the visitor/gift-shop
  • Entire tour time booked just for group (no General Public), contact boydencavern@gmail.com
  • Entire picnic area and cavern booked for very large groups, contact boydencavern@gmail.com
To book a Group reservation please contact us at boydencavern@gmail.com with your group details and preferred date, please include an alternative date in case the first date is not available.

Cavern access and difficulty:
The cavern is accessible by a Wilderness trail which is located near the visitor center at the Boyden parking lot. The hike up the trail consists of 5 to 9 minutes of hiking which includes two sections of very steep trail. Even the guides are out of breath after the short hike up to the cavern entrance. If you have concerns about the hike let the guides know, they will suggest that you start up trail 5 to 10 minutes early so that you may take as many brakes as necessary and not fill hurried to stay up with the group.

Inside the cavern expect, cement trial with hand-railing throughout parts of the cavern. There are some steps of only 3 to 5 at any one time. Some steps however require a person the bend over to miss the ceiling while climbing the steps. Expect occasional low ceilings and once in awhile narrow passages. Claustrophobia is normally not an issue inside Boyden Cavern. The last three rooms to Boyden DO NOT have cement trail, you will be following the stream bed, no water at this time, but many slippery spots, small rocks, uneven surface and low ceilings. The cavern is one way in and one way back out, however there is an optional lower trail out of the cavern (lot's of fun and adds an entire different feel to the trip), this lower trial is strictly optional because it follows the stream bed out of the cavern and is also very slippery, has very uneven surfaces, is narrow and primitive, make sure you have very good shoes.

Canyoning Update
Currently we are still unable to offer any canyoning trips at this point. We are working with the USFS on routes with in the Wilderness, each route needs to be scouted by our guides then approved by the Forest Service. So to all our canyon folks guests, I would like to make a personal suggestion, located in the California Gold Country about 5 hours north of Boyden and about 2 hours South East of Sacramento is a beautiful little cavern called Black Chasm Caverns. They offer the neatest mini canyon trip (not in the cavern)with all sorts of interesting physical elements, amazing geology and a host of other amazing clever and fun surprises . Although this adventure is not for high end risk takers, I have to suggest the trip to just about everyone else. Children as young as 8 have been able to do the Mini version of this trip. They call the tour the Labyrinth Tour and below I have included a link direct to their site. For everyone else who wants our waterfall rappels and canyoning experience in Kings Canyon, stand by, we are working as fast as we can.

Thank you to all our valued guests
Get Out, Breath Hard and See the Wilderness