The USA is full of beautiful natural landmarks and has a whole new world under the surface with an estimated 45000 caves. Each of these caves is uniquely formed and has different sizes and shapes of rock formation, many underground pools, and marble pillars. If you are waiting for a summer vacation adventure, there is no better place than the Mother Nature’s basement to cool off, where you can spend your day in all natural a/c, surrounded by the stalagmites and stalactites. So wake your passion and explore the underground of Mother Earth across the United States of America.
The top best 10 base caves you should explore in America:
1. Mammoth Cave, Kentucky:
The cave is a network of many small caves and covers total 400 miles forming the world’s largest known cave formation. The Mammoth Cave is located in three counties namely Edmonson, Hart and Barren County in Kentucky and centered on the Green River and Nolin River. The cave system has thick strata of limestone covered with sandstone layers which make this system stable. At the bottom of the southern region of the cave, a massive sinkhole is formed which is known as Cedar sink. This cave is home to an unusual species of eyeless albino shrimp named Kentucky cave shrimp.
2. Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico:
This cave is formed by the limestone deposits which were eroded by sulfuric acid. The Carlsbad Caverns which is the fifth largest cave chamber in North America, has a large cave chamber and a 4000 ft long and 625 ft wide chamber made of limestone. This cave is decorated with stalactites and calcite formation. This cave chamber is tucked into the Chihuahuan desert at New Mexico. Many types of rock formation like stalactites, stalagmites, helictites, and soda straw are seen in the Carlsbad Caverns.
3. Meramec Caverns, Missouri:
This cavern has a historic impact as pre- Columbian Native American artifacts are found there. The Meramec Cavern is formed by a large limestone deposits over million years. The fifth level of this cavern has a room with a very rare rock formation. The room is named the wine room where a 6 ft tall aragonite table with natural legs is formed. This wine table is decorated with another rare form of the grape-like cluster of rock named botryoids. The mirror room in this Cavern has about 1.5 ft deep stream of water.
4. Wind Cave, South Dakota:
This is the first cave which was designated as a national park. This cave is decorated with a honeycomb pattern of calcite deposition which is known as boxwork. Approximately 95% of total boxwork formations are found here. The wind cave is also renounced for its two unique rock formations, the popcorn and the frostwork. This cave has 140.47 mile long cave passageway which is the sixth longest in the world.
5. Kartchner Caverns, Arizona:
This cave is situated at the state park in Arizona, USA. It is widely known for its 2.4 miles long show cave. This cave is made of the prehistoric Paleozoic rock at the east part of Whetstone Mountain. The cavern has two major features which are available to the public. These are the throne room and the big room. The throne room has world’s largest soda straw stalactites with a 58 ft column called Kubla Khan. Many different cave formations are seen includes cave bacon, helictites, stalagmite etc.
6. Ruby falls, Tennessee:
This is a 145 ft tall underground waterfall which is located within the Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, USA. The cave is made of chunks of limestone which are actually from the Paleozoic era. It is estimated that the Ruby falls formed before 200 million years ago after the area was uplifted. The ruby falls cavern features many well known rock formations like stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, drapery and columns. The falls are situated at the terminus of the central passage of the Ruby falls caves.
7. Niagara Cave, Minnesota:
The Niagara Cave is located in Harmony, Minnesota. In this cave the natural, canyon like passageways are seen which are sculpted by a stream of underground water. You can take any of these passageways which will get you to a 60 ft long waterfall. This cave is known for the underground waterfall, 400 million years old fossils, and various kinds of rock formation. This cave also noted for its underground wedding chapel where more than 400 marriage ceremonies are performed.
8. Jewel cave, South Dakota:
The jewel cave is situated in the Custer County, Dakota. It is currently the third longest cave in the world with 181.89 miles of passageways. The cave is covered with shiny calcite crystals which led people to name it the jewel cave. This cave has a rare rock formation called hydromagnesite balloons which are puffed rock filled with carbon dioxide.
9. Natural Bridge Cavern, Texas:
This is the largest known commercial cavern in the US which is located in the city of San Antonio, Texas. The Natural Bridge Cavern is named after the natural limestone bridge at its entrance. The passageways of this cavern are paved by an underground water stream thousands of years ago. It has multiple layer of rock formation like stalactites, stalagmites, chandeliers, soda straw and flowstones.
10. Fantastic Cavern, Missouri:
This show cave is located in Springfield, Missouri. Only this cave in the US will offer you a ride through a journey in a jeep-drawn tram throughout it along with the underground river. You can touch a low ceiling made of stalactites from the tram. There are two large chunks of stalagmite rocks which are named as The Hall of Giants by the locals.
Except these top 10 there are few more extremely popular caves around and traveler must explore these and are as follow:
• Luray Caverns (Virginia)
• Blanchard Springs Caverns (Arkansas)
• DeSoto Caverns (Alabama)
• Craighead Caverns (Tennessee)
• Ohio Caverns
• Caverns of Sonora (Texas)
• Raccon Mountain caverns (Tennessee)
• Howe Caverns (New York)