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California Desert Caves Soon to Reopen to the Public | Frommer's Instagram / @obscurelosangeles

California Desert Caves Soon to Reopen to the Public

The only limestone caves in the California state parks system will soon reopen to the public, the Los Angeles Times reports

Located in the remote Mojave Desert in the southeastern part of the state, the Mitchell Caverns had been a tourist attraction since the 1930s until the site was closed in 2010 due to budget cuts. 

Vandals later damaged a visitor center and other facilities related to the caves, part of the Providence Mountains State Recreation Area. 

Repairs were held up by funding problems (relieved in part by donations from nonprofits and private citizens) as well as environmental permissions and other delays.

But at long last the Mitchell Caverns have a reopening date: November 3.

Those who drop by will find a fully renovated visitor center, a pedestrian bridge leading to the canyon where the caves are situated, and, inside, brand-new LED lights to illuminate awe-inspiring natural cathedrals where centuries of dripping water created spiky rock formations and glittering nooks and crannies.

Back outside, keep an eye out for desert wildlife including bighorn sheep and a rare colony of Gila monsters.

For more on California parks, check out our roundup of the state's most incredible showstoppers.