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24 Jaw Dropping Caverns in the US (Must visit and get motivated)


Jaw Dropping Caverns in the US worth the visit? Find out in our review

Each country in the world is rich in various interesting places. Caves and caverns occupy a special place among the historical and entertaining places in the United States. They differ from each other in that caves are called a hollow in a rock or mountain. They are mostly natural phenomena but can be formed by people. Meanwhile, caverns are a type of cave. They are very large and located underground. You can get to them through an underground corridor. Often, it’s like a group of caves that are connected by such corridors. We can say that all caverns will be caves but not all caves will be caverns. 

The natural processes that led to the formation of caverns took thousands of years. In your research paper, you can point out that it was the destruction of rocks by lava, water, microorganisms, and chemical reactions. Therefore, traveling through them is always fascinating and even mystical.

1. Carlsbad Caverns, NM

They are located in New Mexico near the Texas border. Writing essays about these caverns, you will explore nearly 119 caves formed from limestone and sulfuric acid. You will be amazed by the ancient sea outcrops, cacti and shrubs of these caves, and deep rocky canyons. Must visit the Bat Cave, Bit Frost’s room, and the Bell Cord Room. You can also stay up late into the night to see the Brazilian bats flying out of them.

2. Meramec Caverns, MO

The Meramec Caverns in Stanton, Missouri, were created more than a million years ago. Nevertheless, they are of great historical importance. If you want to have the best grading college papers, describe in any word the important historical events associated with them. This is the hideout of the infamous Jesse James and the Confederate War. The caverns are 4.6 miles long and made of limestone. Their rich history makes them one of the best caverns in the United States.

Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio, TX

3. Fantastic Caverns, Springfield MO

Fantastic Caverns, in Springfield, Missouri, are the only caverns where the tour is conducted entirely by tram. The latter is towed by motorized vehicles. Most of the caves in this region were used for the extraction of saltpeter. The last one was used during the Civil War. But in the Fantastic Caverns, it was not used by either side. Because the one who discovered these caverns kept them secret until the war was over. Describing the historical nuances of these and previous caverns, students can count on the best teacher comments for student writing.

4. Blanchard Springs Caverns, AR

Blanchard Springs Caverns are part of the Ozark National Forest. They are located in Stone County, Arkansas. The Forest Service offers three tours here. For beginners, the Dripping Stones Trail, home to the famous salamanders, is an exciting option. The next most difficult is the Discovery Trail, which offers brave and prepared visitors a deeper look into the lower parts of the caves. The Wild Caves tour is the longest, lasting almost four hours. It is designed for true cavern fans and is rich in crawling through less developed parts of the caves.

5. Luray Caverns, VA 

The Luray Caverns in Virginia is one of the best grottoes in the United States due to their fascinating natural formations. If you are writing essays about notable caves and studying according to the student contract for grades, then it will be interesting to explore the Great Stalacpipe Organ and its massive percussion mechanisms. This cave system is full of stalagmites, mirror pools, columns, and stalactites. The Pluto’s Ghost, the Giant’s Hall, and the caves of red, yellow, and brown mixtures are the sight worth your attention.

6. Tuckaleechee Caverns, TN

Tuckaleechee Caverns are located in Townsend, Tennessee. They are the highest caves in the East of the United States and are  20 to 30 million years old. The Big Room, which we saw last on our tour is huge and to make it more dramatic they turn off the lights when you enter and turn them on and it is a magnificent sight!  Silver Falls is the highest underground waterfall in the eastern United States (210 feet).

Tuckaleechee caverns usa TN
Unassuming entrance to a Tuckaleechee Caverns near the Smoky Mountains

The Caverns, were discovered by two kids, Bill Vananda and Harry Myers, The pair kept it a secret for years before opening it up to the public in 1953. The stalactite and stalagmite formations create enormous formations that visitors come from great lengths to see and touch (they are one of the few caverns that let visitors touch the formations). Plus, the caverns is the most sensitive seismic station on Earth. Visitors can view the equipment that the US military installed to detect nuclear testing across the globe. Tuckaleechee Caverns are monitored 24-7.

7. Lost Sea Caverns, TN

The Lost Sea Caverns are located in Tennessee, Monroe County. The crystal flowers that seem to grow along the walls of the caves are a unique feature of these places. After reaching the Lost Sea, you will enjoy a boat ride. If you’re interested in history, you can follow the same paths that moonshiners and Confederate military miners used to walk. And even earlier, those were the paths of jaguars.

8. Natural Bridge Caverns, TX

The Natural Bridge Caverns are in San Antonio, Texas. They are considered the most famous commercial caves in the state. They got their name from a huge natural bridge. It is a 60 feet limestone slab that looks like an amphitheater at the entrance to the cave. The passage remained in suspension after the karst rock collapsed under it. What’s cool about this spot is that there is much more than just the caverns, though they are very cool. Since it is a bit of a drive from the center of San Antonio, you’ll probably wnat to spend at least half a day there. Luckily, there’s also zip lining and an obstacle course as well! 

9. Shenandoah Caverns, VA

Shenandoah Caverns are considered the most beautiful underground wonder in Virginia. They are the only caverns in the state with an elevator. Since 1922, they have been the main tourist destination in the picturesque Shenandoah Valley. At a depth of 220 feet below ground level, you’ll see unparalleled crystal formations, impressive geology, and natural wonders.  The famous Breakfast Bacon formation was even mentioned in National Geographic magazine. The size of the Long View Hall is impressive. You will also see the Diamond Cascade crystalline formations, Rainbow Lake, and the Capitol Dome.

Shenandoah Caverns in Virginia

10. Mammoth Cave, KY

It’s the longest-recorded cave system in the world. It is more than 400 miles long. Its history begins with the indigenous people of North America. Nowadays, activities include fishing, canoeing, hiking, horseback riding, outdoor recreation, and others.

11. Kartchner Caverns State Park, AZ

In Arizona, these caverns are known for their bat colony. So, if you love them, visit these Arizona grottoes. Visitors can have an authentic experience through a guided tour with helmets and headlamps. It is better to visit them not in the winter season. Because then the bats hibernate and you can’t see their famous colony.

12. Moaning Cavern, CA

These caverns in Vallecito were rediscovered in the 19th century by prospectors looking for gold. No gold was found. Instead, they found picturesque views. Here you can explore the oldest remains of prehistoric people – great for students to learn. The cavern got its name because of the moans of ancient people who fell in. If you don’t want to take part in a tour, these caves are also open to cavers.

13. Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern, TN

This cavern is located in Chattanooga. The location is considered a place for daredevils who are not afraid to go down 26 floors underground and explore deep into the cave. There is also an underground waterfall called Ruby Falls, which is named after the wife of the man who discovered it. It has a height of 145 feet. This cavern is known for its escape rooms and ghosts. Any one of these caverns would be great to research for a history paper. Or you could have someone “do my assignment online” for me.

14. Caverns of Sonora, TX

These caverns were formed over 100 million years by Cretaceous limestone. They consist of three-dimensional labyrinths. Their walls are covered with intricately layered shiny speleothems and crystals. The walls and ceilings of the tunnels are also covered with coral trees and soda straws.

15. Cosmic Cavern, AR

Berryville, Arkansas will give you a total delight with Cosmic Cavern. It has two bottomless lakes. Divers really could not find their bottoms. There are also incredibly beautiful geological formations and winding rivers with blue water. Among the natural formations, you will find helictites, water straws, cave popcorn, bacon, stones, stalagmites, and stalactites.

16. Ohio Caverns, OH

Travelers to Ohio caverns have a chance to see ancient rock creations. It is a whole set of underground treasures with a brilliant color palette. They shimmer from orange and blue to white and intense black and red. The Ohio Caverns are known as the Most Colorful Caves in America. Every corner of this grotto system is permeated with rare double formations. They consist of calcium crystals and iron oxide combinations.

17. Black Chasm Cavern, C?

This cavern is located in Volcano, California. This magical place is known for its blue lake, which dazzles with its brightness. All these are thanks to thousands of sparkling helicities. Only 5 percent of the existing caves in the world have this mineral. After the cave tour, travelers can enjoy the Zen Garden. This is a location full of marble monoliths. They were discovered during the Gold Rush era.

18. Antelope Canyon, AZ

This is the slot canyon of Arizona. It is divided into two parts. The Lower Antelope Canyon is known as the Corkscrew. The Upper Antelope Canyon has the Crack name. The canyon is quite ancient. It was formed by storm floods due to the erosion of Navajo sandstone. Summer is the best time to visit Antelope Canyon. That’s when the natural light hits the walls at the right angle. A warm red glow is created. It is a national treasure. What kind of excursions there will depend on the season. The guides of a particular canyon will orient you when the floods are lower. 

19. Jewel Cave, SD

Near Custer, South Dakota, there is the Cave of Jewels. It is the third-longest cave in the world. It stretches for more than 215 miles. It got its name from the spar crystals. They are, in fact, the most impressive attraction. These crystals look like natural jewelry. This effect is achieved by the process of their disintegration into various shapes that have smooth and shiny surfaces. You can also explore the drapery formations here.

20. Niagara Cave, MN

This cave was discovered by a group of farmers in 1865. It is a natural formation in southeastern Minnesota. Niagara Cave is home to a variety of stalagmites and stalactites. It has a 60-foot waterfall. It flows into an underground river. During the tour, students are told about the history of the cave and are shown its iconic objects.

21. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, CO

This park is located in the place of a cave system. It was discovered in the late 19th century by Charles W. Darrow. In 2003, it was transformed into a family adventure park. It is visited by 150 thousand of tourists every year. There is a whole list of different excursions. Among them is a tour of the wild caves and the Royal Rows. 

22. Majestic Caverns, AL

The Great Cave of Alabama or Majestic Caverns is located near the town of Childersburg in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The cave used to be called Kymulga Cave and was used by the local indigenous people. Their name was Copena. But then Europeans arrived in North America. During the Civil War, saltpeter was mined here. And during the Prohibition period, a dance hall and an underground bar were opened in the caves. They were called the Bloody Bucket. Since the 1960s, the cave has been used as a show cave. It has one of the largest clusters of onyx-marble speleotherms. There is also a jewelry mining attraction.

23. Makauwahi Cave Reserve, HI

Makauwahi Cave Reserve is the largest limestone one in Hawaii. Ancient indigenous people used to hold their rituals in caves. They were like a ritual place. Today, the cave is considered the most important fossil site. It is part of the large Pacific island region. The name comes from a Hawaiian word. It means “smoky eye” because it looks like a funnel-shaped paleo-lake.

24. Ape Cave, WA

You will find the best caving routes in Ape Cave near Cougar in Washington State. Mount St. Helens helped to form it. It sent lava down. That was 2 millennia ago. This is how a natural tunnel was formed.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cavern Visits in the USA

What should I bring with me to the caverns?

Eating and drinking anything is prohibited. Food attracts several animals and raccoons to the cave. Most caves have restrictions on the possibility of visiting them with pets. So, check this in advance. I will say after visiting several caverns, well-behaved children are preferred. It is very distracting to have whiny kids when you are trying to enjoy caverns. So, if you kids can’t be quiet, please leave them at home.

What should I wear when visiting caverns across the US?

We have found that most caverns have a consistent temperature year round in the 60s, so a light jacket is good to have. However, I’d recommend checking a cavern’s website before visiting. Always wear comfortable shoes. There is often a dirt road underfoot. You can bring water if the tour will be long, but most are short enough you don’t need it. There are also caves where it gets drizzly, so you should bring raincoats.

When is the best time to visit caverns? Are they cold?

As mentioned above most caverns have a year round temperature that doesn’t change. Most are in the 60s and 70s, so you don’t have to worry about being cold.

As you can see, the caves and caverns of the United States are extremely riveting objects from a historical and geological point of view. Firstly, to get an unforgettable experience of excursions and get motivated for new achievements.

Jaw dropping caverns in the US to explore – from long and short, to easy and difficult these caverns all have their magical draw!

About the author

Malika Bowling

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!