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Secret underground world: 16 breathtaking caves in the USA

Under our feet there are entire worlds - caves that create incredible underground routes for exploration and walking. OnlyInYourState.

Photo: Shutterstock

16 caves across America that offer us a glimpse into truly wondrous worlds that seem too magnificent to be real, but luckily for us, they are all perfectly real.

Lava Beds National Monument – ​​California

Address: Lava Beds National Monument Road, Lava Beds National Monument Rd, California, USA.

One of the most remarkable places in the country, Lava Beds National Monument will challenge your very definition of a "cave". This incredible natural landmark in California was formed by the movement of volcanic lava over the surface of the earth half a million years ago, resulting in a rugged landscape above ground, dotted with various volcanic elements, and more than 800 caves underground.

In addition, the park is geologically outstanding due to the wide variety of "training" volcanic formations, including fumaroles, cinder cones, spatter cones, mountain craters, maars, volcanic fields, and lava tube caves. There are 25 lava tubes in this national park, and they are open to seekers adventure for excursions and exploration. Come and enjoy this magnificent underground world that has been in the making for 500 years.

Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve – Oregon

Address: Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve, 19000 Caves Hwy, Cave Junction, OR 97523, USA.

Deep in the mysterious Siskiyou Mountains in Oregon are dark, winding passageways just waiting to be explored. Oregon Caves National Monument is the culmination of centuries as acidic water seeped into the marble rock, eventually creating one of the state's greatest natural wonders. Known as the “Marble Halls of Oregon,” the Oregon Caves are a stunning sight that should definitely be on your bucket list. You can take a tour and explore both the mountain and the cave - from the inside!

Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park – Montana

Address: Lewis and Clark caverns, Unnamed Road, Whitehall, MT 59759, USA.

Montana may be known as the “Big Sky Country”, but the state has a huge underground world that also attracts attention. caves Lewis and Clark (The Lewis and Clark Caverns) are among the largest limestone caves in the northwestern United States, so named because the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition camped within sight of the caves in 1805.

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The caves are famous for their millions of years old limestone formations, with a dazzling array of stalactites, stalagmites and columns protruding from the walls and ceiling of the cave. The 120-hectare park not only has cave tours, but also beautiful scenery and a campground, making it a great place for your next adventure.

Wind Cave National Park – South Dakota

Address: Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, USA.

wind cave located in the national park of the same name, near the city of Hot Springs, South Dakota. Wind Cave National Park, founded in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, is one of the first national parks in the country and the first ever protected cave system. The 13000-hectare Wind Cave National Park is home to a complex cave system dating back millions of years, as well as rich Native American history and wildlife. Billed as the sixth longest cave in the world (225 km), Wind Cave is also considered the densest. Approximately 95% of the world's box formations have been found here. Wind Cave National Park is breathtakingly beautiful; it really is a must visit place for all adventure seekers.

Jewel Cave National Monument – ​​South Dakota

Address: Jewel Cave National Monument, 11149 US-16 B-12, Custer, SD 57730, USA.

Proving that South Dakota is so much more than just its prestigious presidential monolith, Jewel cave national monument just great. As the name suggests, Jewel Cave is truly an amazing hidden gem; it is considered the widest and deepest cave in South Dakota, and with over 320 km of mapped passages, it is considered the third largest cave in the world. Offered daily, the scenic tour lasts 90 minutes and gives visitors a unique opportunity to see up close the caves decorated with calcite.

Antelope Canyon–Arizona

Address: Upper Antelope Canyon, Arizona 86040, USA.

Antelope Canyon in Arizona is indefinable. This magnificent canyon is unlike many others that dot our wonderful country as it is a slot canyon with high sandstone walls, unique natural patterns and a palette of warm, rich colors. Antelope Canyon is located on land owned by the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona, and luckily for us, the Navajo people were generous enough to open this sacred site to visitors traveling with licensed guides. If you're looking for an adventure that will make you feel like you're in another world, Antelope Canyon in Arizona deserves the top spot on your wish list.

Carlsbad Caverns–New Mexico

Address: Carlsbad, NM 88220, USA

Carlsbad caverns in New Mexico, perhaps the most beautiful place in the whole country. Located 32 km from the city of Carlsbad, this extraordinary natural wonder is a limestone cave that was once part of an underwater reef in the inland sea. For comparison: the reservoir that formed the cave was on the ground from 250 to 280 million years ago. Today, visitors can explore this otherworldly space along two trails: The Big Room and Natural Entrance. We are not indifferent to the first; it is the largest single cave chamber in the United States and contains stunning formations such as the legendary Sword of Damocles.

Natural Bridge Caverns-Texas

Address: Natural Bridge Caverns Road, Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, San Antonio, TX, USA.

Caves Natural Bridge Caverns, certainly fit the mantra of "everything is bigger in Texas"; this stunning three-kilometer cave is a wonderful world in itself. Discovered in 1960 by an intrepid group of college students, the Natural Bridge Caverns were opened to the public in 1964 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. This is what the hilly landscape of Texas once looked like.

Today, visitors can get up close and personal with this underground world on one of the park's many guided tours. Curious explorers should visit the Hidden Passages tour; this 70-minute tour showcases the intricate structures of the "cave ribbons" and "soda straws" for which the Natural Bridge Caverns are best known. Some of this experience also takes place in complete darkness, making it an exciting adventure that should be on any adventure seeker's wish list.

DeSoto Caverns-Alabama

Address: Desoto Caverns Parkway, Desoto Caverns Pkwy, Childersburg, AL, USA.

Alabama has one of the highest cave densities in the world, and its vast underground sites attract some of the best climbers on the planet. In fact, cavers travel from all over the world to explore the state's spectacular caves. One cave that remains at the top of most cave lovers' wish lists is Caves DeSoto. Nestled at the foothills of the Appalachians in Childersburg, Alabama, DeSoto Caverns is one of the South's most unexpected treasures.

Considered the first recorded cave in America, DeSoto Cave is full of incredible beauty, and the Great Onyx Cathedral is one of its many hidden treasures. This "cathedral" is actually a room in the DeSoto caves that is longer than a football field and is 12 stories high. His greatness is beyond words; it's just a place you have to see for yourself.

Meramec Caverns-Missouri

Address: Meramec Caverns, 1135 Hwy W, Sullivan, MO 63080, USA.

Meramec Caverns attract over 150 visitors annually from all over the world, and it's not hard to see why. The limestone caves, which are about 000 million years old, boast an impressive history, including the fact that they served as a hideout for Jesse James when he was on the run from the law. Billed as the "Greatest Show Underground", the guided tours last 400 hours and offer a walkthrough of these legendary caves and tunnels. Experienced guides will give you an insight into the rich history of the limestone caves. But the fun doesn't end there - Meramec Caverns offers plenty of land-based adventures, making it an amazing must-see destination.

Niagara Cave-Minnesota

Address: Niagara Cave, 29842 Co Hwy 30, Harmony, MN 55939, USA.

niagara cave, this wonder of Minnesota, has not only a huge system of underground caves, but also an underground waterfall. This cave was discovered in 1924 and opened for tours a decade later. Niagara Cave is one of only two caves you can officially visit in Minnesota, making it even rarer and more special. This is a beautiful limestone cave created and carved by water over millions of years; and during the tour you will find yourself in a hallway that really looks like something out of a sci-fi movie.

Ohio Caverns—Ohio

Address: Ohio Caverns - Open All Year, 2210 OH-245 E, West Liberty, OH 43357, USA.

Did you know that beneath the farmlands of southeast Ohio lies an enchanted natural world that began to form millions of years ago? Ohio Caverns is literally one of the Midwest's most glorious and colorful hidden gems and is an epic underground adventure for explorers of all ages. Depending on the season, different excursions are offered, each offering a unique experience of visiting these vast caves. For disabled guests (or young families), the Ohio Caverns offer a seasonal pre-booked limestone tour, making this incredible underground cave system accessible to everyone.

Mammoth Cave-Kentucky

Address: Mammoth Cave, KY 42259, USA.

In the rolling hills of west-central Kentucky, located on the outskirts of America's southern Appalachians, is an underground world that has been forming for millions of years. Mammoth Cave - one of the greatest wonders of the country and the world. This massive cave system has about 600 km of underground caves and passages, with more km being added all the time. In fact, Mammoth Cave in Kentucky has recently gotten a little longer after the opening of an additional 12 km of passages by the Cave Exploration Foundation. The most famous cave in the country, Mammoth Cave is a place that deserves the top spot on your wish list.

Ruby Falls Tennessee

Address: Ruby Falls, Chattanooga, TN 37409, USA.

There are places that really take you by surprise, immersing you in experiences you know you'll remember for the rest of your life. You forget where you are and fully experience the present moment. Ruby Falls Tennessee is one of those places. Ruby Falls is not so much an attraction as an experience. Undoubtedly, Ruby Falls is the highest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public in the United States. And the mountain view just above your head allows you to enjoy some of the most breathtaking views of the Tennessee Valley, the Cumberland Plateau and the Tennessee River, not to mention epic outdoor recreation. But Ruby Falls is so much more than numbers or markers. This is one of the most magical places you will ever visit.

Luray Caverns - Virginia

Address: Luray Caverns Service Road, Luray Caverns Service Rd, Luray, VA 22835, USA.

Virginia's Shenandoah Valley in Virginia is a place of incredible beauty with rolling mountains and lush landscape. But the beauty here is not only superficial; Beneath the valley lies an uncharted land. Luray Caverns is one of the most breathtaking natural areas in the country that takes visitors into an underground world of bizarre and beautiful rock formations. The cave was discovered by accident in 1878 and still awes travelers and explorers. The huge lot is one of the many treasures of the Shenandoah Valley and is made up of several "rooms", each with unique features.

One particularly mesmerizing sight is the Wishing Well, a pool of turquoise-colored water that has collected coins from visitors since the 1950s. Dream Lake is another popular place that is also an optical illusion; despite its seemingly endless depth, the pool is only about 45 cm deep! Luray Caverns is a journey down a wonderful, real rabbit hole that you will never forget.

Howe Cavern

Address: Howes Cave, NY 12092, USA.

In a state world-famous for its land-based attractions and metropolitan areas, Howe Cavern is literally an exception—a marvelous, marvelous exception. This is one of the most unique natural attractions you will ever visit in the Empire State and the state.

The caves were first discovered in 1842 after local farmer Lester Howe began noticing that his cows repeatedly made their way to a dark hole in the ground. Since then, the cave has become a popular destination for adventurers. The Traditional Cave Tour not only offers guests an extensive exploration of one of the deepest spots in the Northeast, but also culminates in the deepest boat ride in New York City.

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This epic tour takes guests through a vast system of underground caves, culminating in an underground body of water: the miraculous Lake Venus. It's a truly impressive experience.

The world is a wide, beautiful place full of possibilities wherever you turn, including underground. Fan the flames of your wanderlust by visiting these unforgettable underworlds, each offering a full range of new experiences.

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