Cave and caverns are popular tourist spots, for their rich culture, the air of mystery surrounding them, and the spirit of adventure and thrill that they provide. If you are visiting the USA, a trip through these caves is a must. The USA has abundant cave systems and some of them are mentioned below.
With the many caves and caverns in the USA, cave tours are pretty common. Most caves have an entry fee and guide people through the cave. Before any visit, make sure you have applied for ESTA application USA to make your trip smoother and hassle-free. So, let us dive in to see where you can explore some of the best caves in the USA!
Caves in California
Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway to explore the cavern systems or touring the place and looking for something closer to nature and history, California is the place for you. Apart from other mainstream attractions, California is also home to many caves that you can visit and explore.
Lava Beds Monument – While cave tours require a guide almost always due to the tricky and unfamiliar surroundings, 20 of the total 700+ lava tube caves here can be explored without a guide’s help. The entire cave system was built due to volcanic eruptions, lava flows, and volcanic fields. Setting all that aside, these caves have a significant number of stories to tell and is also an excellent choice if you wish to stargaze, being one of the darkest night skies in California.
Looking forward to hiking? Or new to caves? The Balconies Cave Trail and the Bear Gulch Cave Trail are what you are looking for! These cave systems are great if you are just a beginner at hiking, while also getting a chance at exploring these caves located at the Pinnacles National Park in California.
Marvel Cave Park, Silver Dollar City, Missouri
The Marvel Cave Park was initially called the Marble Cave, as the top of the caves was assumed to be made of marble due to the resemblance in appearance. Even after discovering that it was, in fact, limestone, the name stuck. The cave is located in the Silver Dollar City, a theme park. The entrance to the cave is called the Cathedral Room, and it is one of the largest entryways among all the caves in North America. The Marvel Cave is also one of the largest caves in Missouri and has two main tours to take you through the cave system.
Traditional Tour – An hour-long tour with 60 members, the journey takes you through various parts of the cave, such as the Shoe Room and the Lakes Passage, along with attractions such as the Liberty Bell and the Sentinel.
Lantern Tour- The lantern tour costs $16.12 per person with only 20 people at a time, usually lasting for an hour and a half. The specialty of this tour is that you are given lanterns and navigate through the dark cave with just these lanterns (as the lights are turned off).
Caves to Tour in Washington
Washington falls nowhere short of housing some of the most impressive cave systems in the USA. This includes the Ape Caves and the Guler Ice caves, two very notable cave formations that are definitely worth your time!
The Ape Caves – This cave system consists of two tubes, an upper tube, and a lower tube. The upper tube is difficult to navigate through, and the lower tube is more suitable for beginners.
Guler Ice Caves – This is another exciting cave system in Washington. They have extensive ice formations that melt every year to give rise to new shapes and structures.
West Virginia Cave Tours
West Virginia has many caverns and caves with rich cultural history and great sights to explore. One of these is the Seneca Caverns, where you can mine gemstones and minerals as a part of the tour. It is 4.5 million years old and was a part of the trade route used by the Seneca Indians, among other tribes. Another must-visit is the Lost World Canyons that offers two tours, a regular cave tour, and a wild cave tour. The wild cave tour takes 4 hours and is guided, while the regular tour is self-guided.
Apart from these, there are other caves and caverns in the USA that are worth exploring, such as the Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, the Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and the Ruby Falls in Tennessee. The Ruby Falls is not one, but a series of underground waterfalls, and is a must-visit site!
Prior to beginning your tour, ensure that you have the ESTA visa applied and approved, which has a validity of two years or till your passport expiry, whichever comes first. If you have a few ESTA application questions, do not forget to consult the experts. If you feel you may need help from filing ESTA to ensuring you have all the documents ready – do not hesitate.