SEA LION CAVES
The Sea Lion Caves is America's largest sea cave as identified by the Guinness Book of World Records. It is the year round home of the Steller Sea Lion. The Stellar sea lion, also known as the northern sea lion, is the largest member of the sea lion family. You can see these majestic beauties in their natural habitat dwelling in the formation of the cavern that began about 25 million years ago. Am It now soars to the height of a 12- story building and stretched the length of a football field. Sea lions aren't the only wild animal you will see there, the natural amphitheater is also the home to other marine life and shore creatures!
The cavern walls are painted with natural mineral stains like Lichens, and algae that create colorful greens, pinks, purples, tans, and reds that form on the rough surfaces. the sea level portion of this cave and sea cliff rocks just outside the cave have become, over the centuries, the only known mainland rookery or "breeding area" of the Steller Sea Lion, and to lesser extent, the California sea lion. The Cave vicinity is home to several other animals including bats, pigeon guillemots, cormorants, gulls, orcas, gray whales, humpback whales, harbor seals, California sea lions, bald eagles, mountain lions, black bear, elk, deer, chipmunks, gray squirrels, owls, common murre, tufted puffin, marbled murrelet, black oystercatcher, anklets, sandpiper, dunlin, whimbrel, snowy plover, osprey, killdeer, and numerous ducks and geese. Many seabird species are endemic and found nowhere else, except along the Oregon Coast.
Sea Lion Caves Fun Facts
Cave Formed 25 million years ago
Cave is made of Basalt Rock
The largest Sea Cave in the America's
Height: equivalent to a 12 story building
Length of a football field
Elevator access since 1961
Discovered in 1880 by Captain William Cox
The elevator capacity is twenty-three passengers
The elevator descends a total of 208 feet
The elevator speed is 250 feet per minute
The elevator accommodates about 400 people per hour
A life-size sculpture by Ken Scott was built and commissioned to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Sea Lion Caves. Sea Lion Family was publicly dedicated in 1982 and has an adult bull male, an adult female, and a young pup sea lion, sunning themselves on the rocks. Coming in at 1,500 pounds, the sculpture was likely the largest cast bronze sculpture in Oregon at the time.
Sea lions, seals and walruses are marine mammals belonging to an order, or group, called pinnipeds, which means fin-footed or wing-footed. At the Sea Lion Caves you can find the encased specimen pictured on the right on display at Sea Lion Caves was prepared and is on permanent loan from Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. The animal was a 3 year old female Steller Sea Lion, found with a fatal gun shot wound near Newport, Oregon. She was over 7 feet long and weighed 327 pounds.