The Best List of Caves in North Carolina
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If you flip open any travel guide on North Carolina, you will find someone saying that the state does not have any shortage of beautiful natural wonders. While this statement is true, they usually fail to address a chief concern of many people – are there caves in North Carolina?
There are more than 900 caves and caverns strewn across the state. Several of these caves are open to the public, and some of these caves are family-friendly too! The caves in North Carolina are said to be the best-kept secrets of North Carolina.
The Top Caves to Visit in North Carolina
North Carolina does have a couple of caves that can make their way to any US caving guide, but, in reality, the majority of the caves in the state are a bit underwhelming. Here are the most famous caves of North Carolina –
- Boone’s Cave
- Linville Caverns
- Tory’s Den
- Rumbling Bald Caves
- Ashville Salt Cave
- Bat Cave
- Worley’s Cave
We know this is not a huge list of caves but still, let’s break this down a bit into different groups for easy reference. Some of these caves are fit for beginners, so anyone new to spelunking would enjoy spending time in these caves.
The Best Caves on North Carolina
Let us brief you about the top-rated caves of the state.
Salt Caves in North Carolina
Salt Caves are a reasonably new concept in North Carolina, but there are several salt caves in the state where you can indulge in relaxation or rejuvenation.
What is a salt cave?
Respira Vita Salt and Sauna, Matthews
The family-owned spa seeks to relax you in different ways through Halotherapy. The center has a full-spectrum infrared sauna, energy therapy, and licensed massage. The staff members are knowledgeable and will help you choose the right treatment for you.
Ashville Salt Cave & Spa
Located in downtown Ashville, it is the only salt cave in the US made from natural minerals. The salt cave is made from salt, water, and wood. The sterile environment inside the cave has been created with the help of two natural ionizers giving birth to a micro-climate.
The salt cave is the perfect place for meditation and relaxation from all kinds of harmful things that we are exposed to daily. It gives rise to respiratory problems in our bodies. The recreated 64-degree micro-climate of the cave releases more than 80 minerals to heal the body.
Crystal Caves in North Carolina
Linville Caverns, Marion
When you visit Linville Caverns, you will be in for a royal treat. These caverns will let you explore the inside of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The caverns are beautiful, and you can tour them for a nominal entrance fee of USD 9. You need not worry if you are not comfortable exploring a cave on your own.
It is the only show cave in North Carolina, so many guides will be happy to take you through the caverns and explain the formations that you see there. You also get to know how this cave was discovered by fishermen hundreds of years ago. The caverns always have a temperature of 52 degrees F; so, you might want to bring a jacket when you come here.
Bat Caves in North Carolina
What is a bat cave? While the Batcave is a subterranean location appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. It is the headquarters of the superhero Batman, whose secret identity is Bruce Wayne – a bat cave is simply a hole of some sort in the ground that bats like to make their homes in.
Bat Cave, Henderson County
The Bat Cave is privately owned and is under the protection of the North Carolina Nature Conservancy. However, the Bat Cave is still open for private tours. It is the largest tectonic cave in the state and mapped passages extend for around 1.4 miles.
Some parts of the cave are as high as 85 ft. Rattlesnakes are common in the winter months, and bats, from which the cave got its name, now exist in low numbers as most have been driven away.
Check out the caves in other states:
Hidden Caves in North Carolina
A hidden cave is a cave that isn’t commercially promoted as a show cave – one that you usually go through without any kind of a tour guide.
Boone’s Cave, Davidson County
The cave is part of the Boone’s Cave State Park that spreads across 110 acres. Overlooking the Yadkin River, the cave got its name from the legendary David Boone, who hid from the Indians inside this cave. The height of the cave varies greatly, and it has a length of 80 ft.
Rumbling Bald Cave, Rutherford County
If you are new to exploring caves then Rumbling Bald Cave is not the place for you. By the time you have explored the cave, you will feel that you have just completed an intensive workout! But, the cave is worth every effort and time spent on it. One can hike outside the cave, too, for some breathtaking views.
Underwater Caves in North Carolina
Underwater caves are actually fully submerged sections of caves, which cave divers try to explore. Some were dry caves but due to the warmer climate melting the ice caps, sea levels rose and flooded the caves once again.
The guided tour of the Linville Caverns will take the visitors through the first 600 ft of the cave system. Visitors get to see beautiful limestone formations, a freshwater stream that runs through the caverns, and the various animals that inhabit the caverns.
Visitors will see the different animals swimming in the underground streams and the hundreds of bats hibernating in these caverns. It is not an actual ‘underwater’ cave but the closest you would get to North Carolina.
Other articles you may find interesting:
- Ultimate Guide to Onyx Cave, Arkansas (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
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- Ultimate Guide to Boulder Cave, Washington (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
- Ultimate Guide to Mystic Caverns, Arkansas (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
- Ultimate Guide to Tree Root Cave, Washington (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)