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The Best Caves In The United States That Allow Hiking

Travelers Today       By    MJ De Castro

Updated: Jul 19, 2018 05:38 PM EDT

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The eerie and mysterious vibe of a cave just adds to its unique appeal. Although some are famous while others are still tucked away in secret, visiting these underground chambers is one of the most amazing things to do.
(Photo: Lewis Hulbert | Wikimedia Commons)

Wherever in America, chances are, people are not far from a majestic and accessible cave. The hidden crevices and caverns warrant a great escapade.

Underneath the earth, there are many chambers and separate ecosystems that will surprise anyone. Thrill seekers and adventure junkies can discover something new in the caves which will leave them in awe.

For those who have never visited a cave, starting their journey in these amazing caves in the country might get them addicted.

Kartchner Caverns

Situated in Benson, Arizona, the Kartchner Caverns was discovered in 1974 by Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts. The two kept it a secret until 1978. Since many unprotected caves can be gravely damaged due to unregulated use, the discoverers spent a lot of time trying to develop the caves themselves.

This cave offers its visitors one of a kind formations that sparkle in the dark. One of the highlights of the cave is a 21-foot stalactite that resembles a soda straw. The said rock formation is known to be the longest in the world.

Kartchner Caverns also have a 58-foot column known as the Kubla Khan and is the most extensive brushite moonmilk formation on earth.

Meramec Caverns

Known as the country's "Cave State," with over 6,400 recorded caves, it is no wonder why Missouri is on this list. Located in the historic Route 66 in Sullivan, and known to be the hideout for Jesse James and his gang, the Meramec Caverns is the biggest and most popular cave in the area.

The said cave is also an Underground Railroad stop. Now, a lot of neon signs, multi-colored lighting, and even manmade props adorn the well-lit cave to make guided tours easier.

Meramec has over 150,000 visitors per year who can be treated to the amazing sight of the Wine Table, and a seven-floor "mansion" built below the ground.

Luray Caverns

The amazing and popular Luray Caverns in West Virginia will surely awaken the inner geologist in everyone. The cave is admired because of its breathtaking formations such as Titania's Veil, Fried Eggs, and Pluto's Chasm. The cave also boasts a mesmerizing underground lake, a Stalacpipe Organ, and gargantuan natural columns.

For those who want to visit this area, the trails near the Whiteoak Canyon and Mary's Rock is recommended.

Ape Cave

This cave is not for the faint-hearted. To reach the Ape Cave in Washington, hikers have to go through the longest lava tube in the country. The area has two caves; however, the upper cave is more popular because of the challenge it brings.

Those who want to try spelunking in the cave should be well-prepared and make sure to have their gloves to protect themselves from the sharp rocks.

Balconies Cave

Balconies is considered as a talus cave. Meaning, it came to life because of the boulders that fell on the canyon. This cave, located in one of the most visited parks in California, will take its visitors through a serious adventure by requiring them to fit themselves through boulders in the dark.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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caves, adventure, caving
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