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Coolest Caves in America

by Mary Melnick

Jul 29, 2020

Photo: Brandon Alms | Dreamstime.com

Listicles

Spice up your summer trip this year and take the family on a vacation of a lifetime. Head to one of these cool caves in America for the ultimate summer adventure.

 

Carlsbad Caverns

The Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico were formed from sulfuric acid erosion of underground limestone deposits. The caves, tucked into the Chihuahuan Desert, are recognized as a national park. Visitors can explore the Big Room cavern chamber, the Natural Entrance Trail, deep canyons and sea ledges. If you sign up for a guided tour you get to explore additional areas, including those only accessible with lanterns and ladders.

 

Luray Caverns

Known as Geology’s Hall of Fame, Luray Caverns, in Luray, Virginia, is the largest and most popular cavern in eastern America. The Caverns feature some of the country’s best folded stone formations made of translucent calcite. Make sure to check out the cave’s largest lake that gives an optical illusion, adding a mysterious quality to the formations hanging above.

 

Antelope Canyon. Photo: Glauserb | Dreamstime.com

Antelope Canyon

Part of the Navajo Nation in Page, Arizona, the slot canyon is split into two sections known as the Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, known as “The Crack” and “The Corkscrew.” The cave was formed from sandstone erosion due to flash flooding, and still experiences a significant amount of flooding to this day.

 

Craighead Caverns

Home to America’s largest underground lake, known as the Lost Sea, Craighead Caverns is located in Sweetwater, Tennessee. Start off with a guided walking tour of the caves while viewing a series of rare cave flowers and learn about the cave’s history and rock formations. After the walking tour, guests embark on a glass-bottomed boat tour of the Lost Sea.

 

Meramec Caverns

This seven-layer limestone cave in Sullivan, Missouri, is a popular tourist attraction known for its colorful formations and underground lake. The cave is believed to have once been a hideout for Jesse James and his outlaw gang. Make sure to keep an eye out for the Wine Table, the world’s rarest cave structure, formed completely underwater. Along with exploring the cave, there are many other activities to engage in, so block off the whole day for a fun adventure.

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