Sea Lion Caves is nature’s home for wild sea lions and a variety of sea birds. The vast cavern with the roar of the great Steller sea lions, the cries of the wailing birds, and the restless surge of the ocean into the cave below, form an unforgettable experience.

The formation of the cavern began about 25 million years ago. It now soars to the height of a 12- story building and stretches the length of a football field. Care is taken not to disturb the natural habitat of the wild animals that dwell here. Sea lions gather in this natural amphitheater, usually during fall and winter. In spring and summer, they breed and have their young on rock ledges just outside the cave.

Getting to Sea Lion Cave:

Sea Lion Caves is located 11 miles North of Florence on the Oregon Coast. Parking is free. The admission fee for an adult is $12.00, senior $11.00 and child ages 3 to 12 $8.00.

Once you got the admission fee, you will go down as well as come back up 37 steps in the building to reach the outside trails. There are about 400 yards of uphill and downhill walking at a grade that ranges from 10% to 20%. You then reach the elevator that takes you down to the cave. There are also 63 steps in the cave in order to access the lighthouse viewpoint.

Taking shots:

Down in the cave it is dark and very crowded. Everyone tries to get access to the small opening which gives view of the cave. This opening is guarded with a chain link fence which makes it quite difficult to photograph the scene unfolding in front of your eyes. Luckily there is a small portion cut open in the fence where you can squeeze through your lens.

The darkness of the place requires a tripod, but the crowds of visitors will probably not permit using it. Still, taking your tripod is advisable. You can use it as ‘monopod. Additionally, to overcome the darkness you might increase the ISO of your camera – given you use a digital camera – to 600 or 1000.

Last update: November 26, 2011

Sea Lion Cave