8 Best Cave Tours In The USA - Updated 2021

best cave tours in usa
Lucia
Lucia
Updated

We all are familiar with life above ground, but what about the mystical wonders just beneath our feet? Touring some of America’s most magnificent caves is a super fun, as well as educational, way to experience nature. These eight caves tours offer an adventure of a lifetime and an opportunity to learn all about the geological phenomena of caves. Like any true explorer knows, there is always more than meets the eye.

1. Tram and cave tours at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Colorado

Glenwood Springs, CO
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jason Cipriani used under CC BY 2.0

To reach the caverns at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, visitors are first taken on a 1,300-meter (4,300-foot) European-style tram ride up to the attraction. An underground cave atop Colorado’s Iron Mountains, right in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Glenwood Caverns is a stunning display of geological majesty. A truly magnificent experience for the family, and you can even hit the amusement park after to keep the fun going all day long!

You’re sure to be amazed by inspiring views of the Roaring Fork Valley and the surrounding snow-capped mountains. After the ride, visitors can opt to explore the Historic Fairy Cavern for a quarter-mile underground stroll. Another option is a tour of the King’s Row Cave with colorful views of stalagmites and stalactites.

Tram and cave tours at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Colorado

Address: 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, 81601 Glenwood Springs, CO

Website:

2. Half-day history and ecology trek at the Makauwahi Cave Reserve in Hawaii

Wandering rooster, Tortoise enclosure, Tortoise Project, Makauwahi Cave Reserve
Source: Photo by Flickr user Mary and Andrew used under CC BY 2.0

Participants of this tour embark on a half-day ecology trek through the island terrain of Kaua'i to see the biggest limestone cave in all of Hawaii. The cave is accessible via sinkhole, providing tourists with a one-of-a-kind experience. Visitors are given a unique insight into the ecology and animal population of this breathtaking Pacific island, not to mention that this is also the site of early Polynesian artifacts. What better opportunity to channel your inner Indiana Jones than this?

This magical adventure in the Makauwahi Cave Reserve not only allows visitors to see a wide range of native plants and ecological wonders, the trek also includes a visit to see tortoises and other endangered animals. Plus, you’ll find out why the site is geologically unique, with 10,000 years of sedimentary record. The excursion takes about 4 hours.

Half-day history and ecology trek at the Makauwahi Cave Reserve in Hawaii

Address: 96756 Koloa, HI

Website:

3. Natural Bridge Caverns underground walking tour in Texas

Natural Bridge Caverns
Source: Photo by Flickr user Sean O'Neill used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Famously known as the largest commercial cavern in the state of Texas, Natural Bridge Caverns is an enormous natural limestone cave created from a sinkhole. A whopping 55 meters (180 feet) underground, the cavern is considered to be a living site, dripping and glistening with water. Just to add to the fun, Natural Bridge Caverns is located directly next to Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, a fun-for-all drive-through safari experience.

This 75-minute tour is packed with history, and provides a learning opportunity for those who are interested in the caverns’ intriguing rock formations. Discovered only around 1960, the cave is home to amazing structures formed by an array of speleothems. Try and spot interesting structures that has been named: The King’s Throne, Valley of the Fallen Lords, and the Castle of the White Giants.

Natural Bridge Caverns underground walking tour in Texas

Address: 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, 78266 San Antonio, TX

Website:

4. Antelope Canyon in Arizona (from USD 196.63)

Antelope canyon
Source: Photo by Flickr user Takashi Muramatsu used under CC BY 2.0

It’s impossible to not get an incredible shot of Antelope Canyon, probably one of the United States’ most stunning landmarks. Located on Navajo land, this water-carved rock formation’s smooth edges and ethereal colors give it an otherworldly feel. Guided by a Navajo local, this tour also includes views of lakes and mountains as well as a boxed lunch.

Antelope Canyon Full-Day Tour from Flagstaff or Sedona

Duration: 11 hour

39 reviews

5. Cave of the Winds in Colorado

Cave of the Winds
Source: Photo by Flickr user Kari used under CC BY 2.0

Yet another marvel located in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, the Cave of the Winds is another geological wonder waiting to be explored. With sections of the cave given names such as the “Giant’s Bleeding Heart” and the “Temple of Silence,” how could you not be intrigued?

Cave of the Winds in Colorado

Address: 100 Cave of the Winds Rd, Manitou Springs, Colorado, USA

Website:

6. Black Canyon kayak tour in Nevada (from USD 139.0)

IMG_4321
Source: Photo by Flickr user Andy Blackledge used under CC BY 2.0

Situated on the Colorado River where the Hoover Dam was constructed, Black Canyon is teeming with wildlife such as big horn sheep and bald eagles. This tour takes you into the Emerald Cave on the Arizona side of the river. Visitors travel through totally flat water, ideal for those who may be kayaking first-timers. Interestingly, this is the first national water trail to flow through the southwest as well as through a desert.

From Las Vegas: Black Canyon Half-Day Kayak Tour

Duration: 3 hour

141 reviews

7. Cave of the Winds in Niagara Falls

niagara falls - cave of the winds (1)
Source: Photo by Flickr user Char used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This exciting tour takes you as close to the falls as you can possibly get, so this one is for you thrill seekers out there. The cave was originally dubbed ‘Aeolus’ Cave’ after the Greek God of wind but was sadly destroyed in 1954 by a dynamite explosion. However, you can still visit the front section of the original site with fabulous gusts of water and wind.

Visitors are provided with ponchos for the wet trek down the redwood walkway, straight up the grandeur of the falls. This is truly a unique way to experience the wonder of Niagara Falls. Note: this is a seasonal tour as winters bring ice buildup.

Cave of the Winds in Niagara Falls

Address: Cave of the Winds, Niagara Falls, NY

Website:

8. Cave kayak tour in San Diego, CA (from USD 64.0)

"7 caves" of LaJolla, near San Diego
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dave Bunnell used under CC BY-SA 2.5

San Diego, California’s charming beach town of La Jolla, is home to some of the most incredible sea caves in America. An increasingly popular activity offered in this seaside region is kayak tours. A guide leads tourists through the ecological reserve off the California coastline.

Home to the highest concentration of sea life in the state, this tour takes visitors through the Seven Sea Caves as well as the Emerald Cave. Here participants explore massive kelp forests and immense sea views. Visitors can be sure to get their fill of nature and wildlife with this exciting offer. Book this tour and experience the splendor first-hand.

Lucky visitors have the chance to spot harbor seals, sea lions and even dolphins pass through while en route to the tranquil habitat. This tour lasts for about 90 minutes and provides a great experience for everyone. The tour is open to all regardless of experience levels, but participants have to be aged five years and above. Swimming skills are not required to enjoy this adventure.

La Jolla Sea Cave Kayak Tour for Two of Ecological Reserve

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

10 reviews

More than meets the eye

Cave exploration and tourism is the living example of the cliche: “There is always more than meets the eye.” It is not every day that you get to travel through underground terrain for a firsthand, larger-than-life experience. Each nook and cranny is loaded with something fascinating and eye-opening. Each one of these tours proves to us time and again that Mother Nature’s wonders truly have no end.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Lucia Pasquale is a writer and poet living in Los Angeles, California. She enjoys hot coffee, new places, and old faces. She believes travel teaches us life's most important lessons, gifts us...Read more

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