There are so many incredible things to see and do in the United States if you’re passionate about the outdoors. Camping, hiking, fishing, you name it! There’s one thing you might not have done yet though, and that’s exploring some of the incredible natural caves scattered throughout the country. There are loads of beautiful and mysterious cave systems in the US that are totally safe to explore. Many of them lead to sights, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, and are worth seeing at least once in your life. Here are a few of the best caves worth exploring in the United States.
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
Situated in the desert of New Mexico, the caves of this region are filled with various natural features such as cactuses, ancient sea ledges, and deep rocky canyon walls. There are over a hundred caves in this area, which are formed with limestone and sulfuric acid. You can explore the Main Corridor and Big Room on your own or with ranger-guided tours. If you’re attentive, you may see Brazilian free-tailed bats leaving the cave at nighttime.
Niagara Cave, Minnesota
The Niagara Cave, which is located in Minnesota, is one of the largest caves in the Midwest. It was first discovered in 1924 by pig farmers. This natural cave features a 60-foot waterfall and is filled with different types of limestone and unusual formations. Guided tours are available in the cave every day of the year, and they can explore a mile of its underground passageways. It also has various family-friendly attractions, such as a mini golf course and a gemstone mining operation. Since 2015, the cave has been the first place in the world to achieve zero emissions.
Craighead Caverns, Tennessee
Situated in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Craighead Caves are known for their natural features, such as the Lost Sea. This region was once used by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War as a mining site. The caves were named after Craighead, who was the Cherokee Chief. The caverns have been listed as National Natural Landmarks by the National Park Service since 1974. Various tours are available daily, and they highlight the different crystal formations and waterfalls in the cave. Small groups are also allowed to explore the caves on their own.
Ohio Caverns, Ohio
The Ohio Caves are located in the Bellefontaine Outlier region, which is about a half-hour drive away from Dayton. This natural cave system was first discovered in 1897 and was opened later that year to the public after Robert Noffsinger discovered it. The cave is regarded as one of the most colorful natural caves in the US. It features numerous stalactite and stalagmite formations, and it’s also home to the largest free-standing stalactite in the state. This natural cave system can be explored on its own or with guided tours. Some of the popular attractions within the cave include the Crystal King, Old Town Pump, and Sunken City.
This article was originally published on AndrewElsoffer.net