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[Intro]   Show Caves   Wild Caves

Show Caves

Show Caves are developed and often fee-based. These are generally private, commercial caves but notable exceptions are Mammoth Cave and Carlsbad Caverns both of which are US National Parks of the same name and world famous.

Pic Notes
Ape Cave Ape Cave, Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington
(10 Sep 2002)

A group of Boy Scouts (the apes) are the recorded discoverers of this one. It is a lava tube from one of St. Helens ancient eruptions. It is barely a "show cave" because it has kept its wild character. There are no lights and cement walkways here. In fact ranger led tours are optional. I could list it in the wild section but there is a fee and it is just too well traveled by fat tourists with AAA tourbooks.
Balankanche Balankanche, Yucatan, Mexico
(28 Feb 2009)

This cave is located only a few kilometers from the famous Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. It was known to the Maya who used it for ceremonial purposes. A sealed passage discovered in the 1950s led a local guide to several caches of Mayan offerings. It's a short tour and I only have a small number of photos.
Carlsbad Caverns Carlsbad Caverns, National Park, New Mexico
(19 Apr 2003)

The world famous Carlsbad Caverns! I visited during a several week desert southwest trip in 2003. It's big, very big. I took 3 different tours and still have more to see whenever I visit again. My timing was not right for the renown "cloud of bats" that exit the cave at dusk unfortunately. Sure there were some but the giant flights don't take place until later in the year.
Cave of the Winds Cave of the Winds, Manitou Springs, Colorado
(27 Oct 2003)

One of the things you do when your cousin comes to visit. Conveniently located near some cliff dwellings to double our tourist pleasure. It is an okay cave and does have some nice decorations. Very touristy however.
The Crawl The Crawl, a lava-cast tree mold, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington
(10 Sep 2002)

A very interesting but short cave. An ancient eruption of Mt. St. Helens created a lava flow that poured into a forest. Trees were engulfed and burned but the lava hardened around them first. Now the trees are gone and a void takes their place. Only rock casts remain, and this particular one was created when lava flowed over two fallen trees leaving behind a right angled tunnel molded in the shape of the two trees. The entrance was an upright treetrunk.
Cub Run Cub Run, Kentucky
(28 May 2006)

I was able to see this show cave just before it went commercial. After being sealed for 56 years, the owner was opening it up to the public. As a courtesy, it was made specially available to Speleofest participants for $5. Excellent formations. Very impressive. Thanks to everyone that made that visit possible.
Diamond Caverns Diamond Caverns, Kentucky
(28 May 2006)

This is a well known commercial cave just outside of Mammoth Cave National Park. They were offering 1/2 off to Speleofesters so we decided to visit. The tour was 45 minutes and did feature some good formations - especially the bacon.
Glenwood Caverns Glenwood Caverns, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
(16 May 2009)

One of Colorado's two show caves located just above Glenwood Springs and part of the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
Great Saltpetre Cave Great Saltpetre Cave, Great Saltpetre Historic Preserve, Rockcastle County, Kentucky
(30 July 2005)

This is the cave located right on the property leased by the Greater Cincinnati Grotto and the site of their yearly Karst-O-Rama. This historic cave was an important source of saltpetre during the War of 1812. It was still mined at a lesser scale during the Mexican War and Civil War. Later it was opened to the public as a show cave but that venture failed.
Horse Cave aka Hidden River Cave Horse Cave aka Hidden River Cave, Horse Cave, Kentucky
(27 May 2006)

This cave was until recently a horribly polluted dump for the town of Horse Cave, KY. It is located downtown and the stench became so bad that something finally had to be done. After tremendous hard work - much of it volunteer - the cave is no longer toxic and is something of a showpiece. The ACCA had a small party during Speleofest 2006 and invited cavers free of charge. This provided the 3rd cave for the day and the best pictures since it was wired for lights.
Ice Cave Ice Cave, Washington
(Sep 2002)

I made an impromptu visit here while road tripping the Pacific Northwest. It originally supplied ice for local communities that would quarry the blocks and haul them into town. Now it is a tourist attraction. It isn't real big but it is a convenient cave that has some interesting ice formations inside.
Katerinska Jeskyne Katerinska Jeskyne, Moravia, Czech Republic
(?? Oct 2007)

Description coming.
Gruta de Loltún Gruta de Loltún, Yucatan, Mexico
(7 Mar 2009)

A famous cave along the so-called Ruta Puuc. This cave was used extensively by the Maya over a very long period. There are carvings, paintings, water collection areas, burials, clay quarries, and artifacts inside. It also has a superbly photographic room near the end.
Mammoth Cave Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
(28 May 2006)

I've been to this one lots of times. First as a kid but then later my friends and I started making a yearly trip out there to do the Wild Cave Tour. There are a number of interesting tour options from easy self-guided walks, to guided lantern tours, historic tours, and decoration-viewing tours. The photos are from my May 2006 self led tour of the historic entrance.
Olentangy Indian Caverns Olentangy Indian Caverns, Ohio
(02 July 2005)

A forgettable tourist trap cave just north of Columbus, Ohio. It is a 30 minute tour.
Postojna Postojna, Slovenia
(?? Oct 2007)

Description coming.
Punkevni Jeskyne Punkevni Jeskyne, Moravia, Czech Republic
(?? Oct 2007)

Description coming.
Rio Camuy Rio Camuy, Puerto Rico
(13 Dec 2009)

This is the tourist portion of the world's third largest known cave system. The tour is surprisingly short. The pictures really aren't all that great. Someday I hope to go back and do some wild caving here.
Seneca Caverns Seneca Caverns, West Virginia
(06 August 2006)

West Virginia's largest cave has some good formations, however, how much stupid "And this formation looks like an alligator/titanic/rattlesnake/etc" comments from the tour guide can a caver take?
Skocjan Cave Skocjan Cave, Slovenia
(?? Oct 2007)

Description coming.
Smokehole Caverns Smokehole Caverns, West Virginia
(06 October 2006)

This commercial cave is one of the things I did to stay occupied on a rain day during a climbing trip to Seneca Rocks. It is a very short drive from the Rocks. It is a short trip but the cave is very nicely decorated. There isn't much more to say.
Stratosphere Cavern Stratosphere Cavern, West Virginia
(06 August 2006)

On the same property as West Virginia's largest cave and only $4 more for a combined ticket. This cave just re-opened. The last tours were in the 1930s. Stratosphere is a nice cave and boasts a huge ribbon stalagmite-flowstone. It had by far the largest ribbons I've ever seen. It was impressive and the whole experience was somewhat wild cavish because it wasn't lit and very slick in spots. So we were in headlamps and slipping just like real caving.

One great thing about show caves is that with the interior lighting they tend to have the more beautiful pictures and quite good decorations.

[Intro]   Show Caves   Wild Caves

Activities discussed on this site are often dangerous and ill advised.
You can do everything right and still die or be seriously injured. Such is the nature of adventurous pastimes.
The people affiliated with this site make no claims regarding the safety or veracity of information.
Caveat lector. Think for yourself and make your own decisions.

index.php last modified on 26 January 2017 05:06:22 UTC