About Us

The Southern California Grotto has served cavers in and around the greater Los Angeles area for over 75 years, and includes members throughout the US and in other countries. Our Grotto provides a forum for cavers to meet and participate in various caving activities including surveying and mapping, vertical rope practice, exploration, and conservation projects. We are one of the oldest Grottos in the US, founded by Dr. William R. Halliday in 1948.

The Southern California Grotto (SoCal Grotto) is a local chapter of the National Speleological Society (NSS). The National Speleological Society is a non-profit organization affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The NSS was founded for the purpose of advancing the study, conservation, exploration, and knowledge of caves. Our Grotto encourages membership in the broader NSS and also the Western Region of the NSS.

Caves are unique and sensitive environments. The Southern California Grotto is committed to the protection of caves, and cave conservation activities. These activities include education, cave restoration, cave protection, and assisting government agencies and private landowners in developing management plans for caves and karst areas. SoCal Grotto members have contributed countless hours of volunteer time and labor to protect these invaluable resources.

The Southern California Grotto meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at the California Institute of Technology Beckman Institute Auditorium. Grotto general meetings feature slide shows of recent trips and activities by Grotto members or other cave related presentations. Our Executive Committee meeting is on the second Tuesday of the month and is open to all grotto members. General meetings are open to the public and we encourage anyone interested in caves or caving to attend.

The Explorer is the official monthly newsletter of the Southern California Grotto. The publication is free to SoCal Grotto members. The Explorer contains the latest news about Grotto activities as well as photos and articles from Grotto members.

SoCal Grotto members explore a warm spring cave. Photo: Jesse Johnson