According to the U.S. Travel Association, travelers spent about $972 billion in the U.S. in 2019. This travel spending within the country supported about 8 million American jobs.
Are you one of the millions of Americans that’ll be traveling this summer? If you are, you can see wonderful places without leaving the country.
This guide will discuss some of the best caves in the US you should check out. Keep reading to learn where they are.
1. Carlsbad Caverns National Park
This national park has over 119 caves throughout New Mexico’s Chihuahua Desert and the Guadalupe Mountains. The Carlsbad Cavern is the most popular attraction in the park. You can explore it yourself or take a tour led by park rangers.
Here you’ll see the Big Room limestone chamber, which is 4,000 feet long. You’ll also get to experience bat flights while exploring the caves. The park has many different hiking trails to explore as well.
2. Mammoth Cave
The Mammoth Cave is the largest cavern on the US cave systems map. Located in the Mammoth National Park in Kentucky, this cave has over 400 miles of passages to explore.
You can venture out and explore the cave on your own, but it’s best to book a paid tour to explore areas you might have otherwise missed. Some tours can last up to six hours.
You’ll be doing lots of climbing and passing through narrow tunnels. Make sure you come prepared for the adventure.
3. Kartchner Caverns in Arizona
These caves are some of the most beautiful on the list. The limestone formations are a sight you cannot miss.
The Kartchner Caverns were first discovered in 1974. They were turned into a state park so that the lands could remain protected.
Today, the caves are still relatively undisturbed landmarks. There are cave tours available so you can learn about the formation of these caverns. You can also camp out in the park if you want to explore for a few more days.
4. Wind Cave National Park
If you’re looking for the best caves in the midwest, you should consider checking out Wind Cave National Park. Located near Hot Springs, South Dakota, Wind Cave was the first cave protected inside a national park when it was first established in 1903.
This cave system has over 140 miles of passages for you to explore. If you’re interested in exploring above ground, the park has one of the country’s largest prairie regions.
5. Luray Caverns in Virginia
The Luray Caverns are some of the most popular cave systems in the country. The thing that attracts so many people to this cave every year is the Stalacpipe Organ located within the cave.
The instrument is played electronically. The echo of the notes throughout the caverns is both haunting and beautiful to hear.
No matter what caves you’ll be visiting this summer, make sure you have the best caving helmet with you. Protection is key when preparing for your trip.
6. Natural Bridge Caverns in Texas
Other caves to explore within the U.S. include the Natural Bridge Caverns in Texas. These caverns are great if enclosed spaces aren’t your favorite thing. The wide-open space within the cave won’t make you feel claustrophobic at all.
The 60-foot high limestone bridge within the cave is what attracts most of its visitors. The caverns are also home to large colonies of bats in the summer.
Natural Bridge offers fun zip-lining and rope courses if you want to explore outside the caves too.
7. Antelope Canyon
Next on the list of best caves in the world is Antelope Canyon. This canyon is on the Navajo Nation reservation near Lake Powell.
The cavern at Antelope Canyon was formed because of sandstone erosion caused by flash flooding over the years. Flash flooding is still common today and has sometimes led to the caves being closed down to visitors.
You can learn more about the caves of the Antelope Canyon through guided tours.
8. Moaning Cavern in California
Located in Vallecito, California, this cave offers something for the more adventurous souls. The vertical chamber in the center of the cavern makes it the largest cave in the entire state.
If you’re up for it, you can rappel the 165 feet to the bottom of the cave. If you want to stay on the safer side, you can use a spiral staircase to make your way down the cave.
9. Blanchard Springs Caverns
The Blanchard Springs Caverns are located in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest. The passages inside the cave span a little over eight miles. Blanchard Springs is one of the largest caverns in the state of Arkansas.
The Dripstone Trail explores the upper levels of the cave, while the lower levels are located along the Discovery Trail. The lower levels of the cave descend over 300 feet, where you’ll see sights like the Ghost Room or the Rimstone Dams.
10. Craighead Caverns in Tennessee
These caverns located in Sweetwater, Tennessee, are home to one of the largest underground lakes. You’ll also get to see one of the most beautiful underground waterfalls when visiting Craighead Caverns.
Craighead has one of the largest populations of anthodites in the world. These cave flowers are needle-like crystals that form clusters on the cave walls.
Visit the Best Caves in the US
If you’re interested in visiting the best caves in the US, you’ll want to check out some of the places on this list. Mammoth Cave is one of the largest cave systems in the country. Craighead Caverns has one of the largest underground lakes.
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