Siuslaw Pioneer Museum to celebrate Sea Lion Caves’ 90th anniversary Aug. 26


Sea Lion Caves is a privately owned wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary that opened in 1932. The first non-ocean entrance to the cave was a 1,500 foot walkway carved out of the hillside that led to a 135-step wooden staircase. The caves, 91560 Highway 101, about 15 minutes’ drive north of Florence, is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year in an event through Siuslaw Pioneer Museum. (Photos from Sea Lion Caves archives)

Aug. 22, 2022 — “Nothing short of wild” has defined a visitor’s experience at the Florence area’s Sea Lion Caves for 90 years.

Since 1932, visitors to the area have been able to descend, first by wooden stairway, nowadays by elevator, about 200 feet from the clifftop above America’s largest sea cave down into the cavernous environs of multiplied hundreds of frolicking pinnipeds including Stellar and California sea lions. The entire site is designated as a national wildlife refuge for the animals and birds that live there.

To mark the momentous occasion of their 90th anniversary, Sea Lion Cave’s owners are inviting the public to celebrate on Friday, Aug. 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum, 278 Maple St. in Florence.

“We thank the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum for their support in hosting historic exhibits, not just of Sea Lion Caves but of the entire region’s history from first-nations people through the settlers’ and into fairly modern times,” said Steve Saubert, co-owner of Sea Lion Caves. “They have a true community treasure that everyone should see. We hope the whole community will come out for the Sea Lion Caves’ anniversary party at the museum.”

The festivities begin at 5 p.m. with champagne and wine for those of age, juice, cookies, and other party snacks.

Museum Board President Del Phelps said, “We’ll have a special historic exhibit dedicated to Sea Lion Caves and presentations by local dignitaries. It will be a grand occasion for all.”

Saubert and Phelps also said that attendees who contribute a financial gift to the museum’s operations will receive a family admission pass to Sea Lion Caves, good for one use during the next 12 months.

To learn more about the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum, visit or call 541-997-7884.

To learn more about Sea Lion Caves, its hours, admission, and more, visit or call 541-547-3111.