The Best List of Caves in Colorado
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Colorado is a beautiful state full of mountains, rivers, and yes, caves. Caves are an amazing place to explore since they offer some unique opportunities for spelunking and exploring the natural world. Here at World of Caves we have compiled our list of the best caves in Colorado so that you can pick one out and enjoy it!
Colorado has some of the most stunning landscapes that you will ever see in your life. It is a great state and home to various ecosystems and geological marvels that it would take an eternity to explore them all. But one landmark that you will find in plenty and would excite any spelunker is the vast array of caves and caverns.
The Best List of Caves in Colorado
The underground world in Colorado will surely impress you, so do not forget to check out the very best in caves and caverns. However, make sure to bring with you proper gear and equipment to be fully protected at all times.
The Top Caves to Visit in Colorado
Colorado has an impressive variety of caves and is home to a wide range of grottos and caverns, offering beautiful sights that you will cherish forever. Whether you are an experienced spelunker or just coming here to unwind, the caves in Colorado has something to offer for everyone.
The significant caves in Colorado include –
- Cave of the Winds
- Glenwood Caverns
- Mantle’s Cave
- Spring Cave
- Fault Cave
- Fulford Cave
- Groaning Cave
- Mollie Kathleen Goldmine
- Rifle Mountain Park
- Vapor Caves
- Rifle Falls State Park
- Rainbow Falls
- Premonition Cave
- The Grottos
- Rifle Ice Caves
- Orient Mine
- Rontom Cave
- Spanish Cave
The caves mentioned above are some of the best that you will find in Colorado. All the caves are safe to visit, and there is no known danger, but it makes sense to be on guard and always carry 2 to 3 sources of light apart from other regular equipment. Now, let’s break this down a bit into various categories for easy reference.
Best Caves in Colorado
Following is a detailed insight into the major caves of the state.
Hidden Caves in Colorado
There are some ‘hidden’ caves in Colorado which you must explore even if you are new to spelunking.
Rifle Mountain Park
Rifle Mountain Park has many small and large caves that would excite any spelunker, and it boasts of a few bat caves too! During winter, one can climb through the ice caves created because of water falling over the canyon. The stunningly beautiful ice formations and icicles are a real treat to the eyes.
Located in Eagle County, the Fulford Cave is a great beginner cave. It is a bit cold and wet here but will not spoil your experience if you come prepared. The cave has a constant temperature of 42 degrees F making it a great place to cool down after a hike during summer. If you are new to caving, then this is the cave you would want to start with.
Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine
The Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine is in Cripple Creek, and many would conceive it as a tourist trap, but, in reality, it is one of the best you can get in Colorado for cave exploration. The old mine shaft descends 1000 feet into the surface, making the mine as tall as the Empire State Building!
If you are genuinely into cave exploration, then just put on the hard hat, go down the shaft on the rattle cage elevator and experience a unique adventure that you have never seen or felt before.
Free Caves in Colorado
Many caves in Colorado will not charge you a penny for entering and having a good time.
The Spring Cave in South Fork River Valley is a huge cave that is ideal for explorers who do not mind if their feet get wet. It is an unexplored cave system that is cut by an underground river. The only disadvantage is that the cave is only open from mid-April to mid-August, and only experienced spelunkers are advised to come here as one needs to tread endless caverns.
Occasionally, the river rises to the cave entrance, so you can get wet when you are exploring the passageways. Always check whether there is any chance of flash floods or storms, as exploring spring caves can be dangerous then.
Groaning Cave stretches for nearly 12 miles making it the largest cave in Colorado. The limestone canyon is impressive, but it is in such an obscure location and has such a rugged terrain that only experienced cave explorers can go there and witness the wonder! The cave is accessible from mid-April to mid-August, and one needs to sign a waiver and get authorization before coming here due to large bat colonies within the caves.
Wild Caves in Colorado
Let’s look at a couple of top-rated wild caves in Colorado.
If you do not mind exploring a cave that is off the beaten path, then the Fault Cave might be the thing you are looking for. The cave is so named as it was formed by a series of faults and creating a claustrophobic passageway. So don’t think of this as your traditional cave visit; do a bit of research before coming here as the cave entrance can be a little difficult to locate.
If you are new to cave exploring, then Fulford Cave is an excellent choice, to begin with. The cave enjoys a constant temperature of 42 degrees F throughout the year and is a bit wet in many areas. So, it would make sense to plan accordingly so that you are not in trouble. People enjoy the Fulford Cave in summer as they get a chance to cool off after a long hike.
Ice Caves in Colorado
One can find numerous ice caves across the state, and most are in the state’s mountainous region.
Rifle Mountain Park
The ice caves in Rifle Mountain Park get formed every year between December and February and are easily recognized by the huge ice walls that almost look like a movie set. There are four ice caves in the park, namely Ice Palace, The Final Curtain, Stone Tree, and Soul on Ice.
The caves are formed by the natural freeze and thaw cycle that occurs every year. The hike to the beautiful ice caves is relatively easy, and a modest fee is charged from spelunkers as a fee.
The Spiral Staircase
It is one of the most unique ice caves that you will ever come across. Many visitors will never get a chance to see this ice cave. Why? One should be in an excellent physical condition as one needs to scale a frozen waterfall of 80 ft to reach the cave!
Once you have scaled this waterfall, which is an experience in itself, you get a chance to access the cave. It is not one of the largest caves, but the climb is worth every effort.
Native American Caves in Colorado
Cave of the Winds
The Cave of the Winds has a rich history attached to it. It is the oldest operating attraction in Colorado since 1881. There is enough evidence and researches to suggest that the Apaches nation considered this location sacred for many centuries. The cave is in Manitou Springs, and there are three tours to choose from, and each offers incredible views.
Salt Caves in Colorado
The concept of halotherapy is prevalent in Colorado, which is evident from the plethora of salt caves in the state. We focus on the best that the state has to offer.
5 Star Salt Caves
The 5 Star Salt Caves is probably the best salt cave in Colorado. It is a contemporary wellness center built around an artificial salt cave made from Himalayan rock salt. The health benefits of sat caves are well documented so that you can come here for a relaxing session. The three-hour package is the best deal as it includes a foot bath and sauna.
Telluride Salt Cave
The Telluride Salt Cave is yet another good option when it comes to salt therapy in Colorado. The staff members are helpful and nice, and anyone would feel comfortable inside. Their sessions are relaxing and would help to rejuvenate your tired extremities.
As you can tell, the state of Colorado has a lot of caves to explore. Make certain to always be safe and prepared before entering any cave so you can make your cave experience a good one!
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