Cave City is an unincorporated community in Calaveras County, California. It lies at an elevation of 1,617 feet (493 m). Like most communities in Calaveras County, Cave City began as a mining town. However, its only claim to fame today is that it is the location of the California Caverns, the most extensive system of caverns and passageways in the area.
The California Caverns, in Cave City, are a series of caverns that are one of the earliest officially recorded caves in the Mother Lode region of California. Although one of numerous caves in the Mother Lode region, California Caverns claims the distinction of having the most extensive system of caverns and passageways.
They were also the first to be opened to the public as a tourist attraction. Early visitors included Bret Harte, Mark Twain and John Muir, who wrote about his visit in his 1894 book, The Mountains of California.
The cave was discovered by Captain Joseph Taylor in 1849 or 1850. He opened it for public tours, making it the first show cave in California. Taylor named it Mammoth Cave but by 1894 it was known as Cave City Cave.
The caverns are registered as California Historical Landmark #956.