37 Best Caverns in the US

Hell is metaphorically described as a horrific location underground. And while we know this isn’t true, areas underground are dark and eerie enough to seem hellish (but much colder!). The photo above is of Mirror Pond in Luray Caverns which resembles some artists’ depictions of a mythical hell.

Crystal Cave

If you’ve ever been inside a cavern, you know that they are full of natural wonders. Water seeping into voids and depositing minerals under Earth’s surface creates unique geologic structures that are otherworldly.

Florida Caverns

Speleothems (cave formations) include:

  • Stalagmites – deposits rising from the cave floor
  • Stalactites – deposits hanging from the cave ceiling
  • Columns – stalagmites and stalactites that have connected
  • Draperies and curtains – thin sheet-like formations
  • Crystals – various crystal-shaped formations

Meramec Caverns

Speleotherms typically have creative and descriptive names. Some of the cave formations are named for the food-related items they resemble including bacon, fried eggs, popcorn, curly fries, cave milk, and soda straws.

Stalactites including some soda straws in Greenwood Caverns

Mammoth Cave, true to its name, is the longest cave in the world at over 400 miles long. The US has several other cave systems that rank among the top ten in the world. Jewel Cave, Wind Cave, and Lechuguilla Cave at Carlsbad Caverns National Park are 3, 6, and 7 respectively. Lechuguilla is a fragile cave that is not open to the public, but Carlsbad Caverns has many that are and they are known for their large rooms.

A big room at Carlsbad Caverns

Below is a list of the best caverns in the US. All are open to the public and can be visited without technical spelunking gear. While many are on government property in various state and national parks, some are privately owned and offer other entertaining things to do and see on their sites (extra fun for kids). Most offer simple walking tours, but one cavern is seen from a boat and another is a “fantastic” tram ride.

Alabaster Caverns

List of the Best Caverns in America

  1. Rickwood Caverns State Park, Alabama
  2. DeSoto Caverns, Alabama
  3. Blanchard Springs Caverns, Arkansas
  4. Grand Canyon Caverns, Arizona
  5. Kartchner Caverns State Park, Arizona
  6. Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Arizona
  7. Mitchell Caverns State Park, California
  8. Moaning Cavern Adventure Park, California
  9. Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park, California
  10. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Colorado
  11. Florida Caverns State Park, Florida
  12. Illinois Caverns State Natural Area, Illinois
  13. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
  14. Diamond Caverns, Kentucky
  15. Fantastic Caverns (drive-thru), Missouri
  16. Meramec Caverns, Missouri
  17. Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, Montana
  18. Lehman Caves, Nevada
  19. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
  20. Niagara Cave, Minnesota
  21. Ohio Caverns, Ohio
  22. Zane Caverns Park, Ohio
  23. Alabaster Caverns State Park, Oklahoma
  24. Oregon Caves National Monument, Oregon
  25. Penn’s Cave (boat-thru), Pennsylvania
  26. Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota
  27. Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota
  28. Craighead Caverns, Tennessee
  29. Mystic Caverns, Tennessee
  30. Longhorn Cavern State Park, Texas
  31. Caverns of Sonora, Texas
  32. Kickapoo Cavern State Park, Texas
  33. Natural Bridge Caverns, Texas
  34. Shenandoah Caverns, Virginia
  35. Grand Caverns Regional Park, Virginia
  36. Luray Caverns, Virginia
  37. Melrose Caverns, Virginia
  38. Endless Caverns, Virginia

Rickwood Caverns

Related Places

Mountain State
Rickwood Caverns State Park AL
DeSoto Caverns AL
Blanchard Springs Caverns AR
Grand Canyon Caverns AZ
Kartchner Caverns State Park AZ
Colossal Cave Mountain Park AZ
Mitchell Caverns State Park CA
Moaning Cavern CA
Crystal Cave Sequoia National Park CA
Glenwood Caverns CO
Florida Caverns State Park FL
Illinois Caverns State Natural Area IL
Mammoth Cave National Park KY
Diamond Caverns KY
Fantastic Caverns MO
Meramec Caverns MO
Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park MT
Lehman Caves NV
Carlsbad Caverns National Park NM
Niagara Cave MN
Ohio Caverns OH
Zane Caverns Park OH
Alabaster Caverns State Park OK
Oregon Caves National Monument OR
Penn’s Cave PA
Jewel Cave National Monument SD
Wind Cave National Park SD
Craighead Caverns TN
Mystic Caverns TN
Longhorn Cavern State Park TX
Caverns of Sonora TX
Kickapoo Cavern State Park TX
Natural Bridge Caverns TX
Shenandoah Caverns VA
Grand Caverns Regional Park VA
Luray Caverns VA
Melrose Caverns VA
Endless Caverns VA