2016 is going to be a sizzlingly hot summer. Why not beat the heat with some some natural air conditioning by visiting one or all of these cool caves? Sweet relief from the hot summer sun at these historical caves is no more than 2 and a half hours from Thousand Trails campgrounds!
Natural Bridge Caverns, San Antonio, Texas
The Natural Bridge Caverns, which were discovered by four college students in 1960, is now one of the most popular attractions in Texas. The Natural Bridge Caverns are considered “alive” and very active. The cave formations inside the cavern come from rainwater that trickles out of limestone, which is porous, and dissolves out calcite and creates the stalactite and stalagmites that you see while exploring the cave. A guided tour costs $11 per person and there are also other outdoor adventure activities like a canopy zip line tour and challenge course. Plan to hang out here for about 3 hours. The Natural Bridge Caverns are located about 57 miles from Medina Lake RV Campground via TX-1604 Loop W or a 2 hour drive via I-10 E from our Colorado River RV Campground.
Moaning Cavern, Vallecito, California
The tours at the Moaning Cavern in Vallecito, CA, aren’t just the typical walking tours you might do at any other cave. At Moaning Cavern, visitors can repel 165 ft. down into the cave, soar high above the trees on several zip lines, or reserve their spot on an expedition adventure tour. The Moaning Cavern, which got its name from the strange sound that gold miners noticed coming from the cave in the 1850s, is located about 1.5 hours from Turtle Beach RV Resort via CA- 4 E.
Polar Caves, Rumney, New Hampshire
The Polar Caves, located in New Hampshire’s White Mountains region, is a set of glacially formed caves that formed from granite boulders. The Polar Caves are named as such because the deepest cave is cold enough for snow to stay in tact long into the summer. This cave stays a cool 55 degrees all year round, making the Polar Caves a popular summer destination for New Hampshire visitors. Inside the cave, walkways have been built within the natural passageways that were formed by boulders dropping at the base of Hawk’s cliff. These walkways allow for easier exploration of the caves. While on a tour, guests can learn all about the Native American tribes that spent many summers in these caves. To get to the Polar Caves, just take I-93 N from Pine Acres Resort or from Tuxbury Pond RV Resort.
Ohio Caverns, Champaign County, Ohio
The Ohio Caverns, dubbed “America’s Most Colorful Caves,” are the largest caverns in Ohio, with over “2 miles of surveyed passageways ranging in depth from 30 feet to the deepest point of 103 feet.” This cave was formed thousands of years ago when ancient limestone was cut by an underground river, creating giant rooms and passageways that would later be filled with crystal stalactites, stalagmites, and other formations. At the Ohio Caverns, visitors can take the regular 45 minute tour through the caves, or reserve a spot on the 1.5 hour historical tour or the Limestone tour. In addition to tours of the cave, the park sits on 35 acres that includes a playground, a pavilion, gem and mining activities, and a tour of all the different species of trees that live on the property. The Ohio Caverns are 1.5 hour drive from Wilmington RV Resort via OH – 380 N.
Luray Caverns, Luray, Virginia
Located in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, the Luray Caverns are the most popular caves to visit on the East Coast. With 10 story high ceilings, guided tours on well lit paved walkways, and towering stone formations, Luray Caverns provides “natural wonders at every turn.” The Luray Caverns are a registered National Landmark and is famous for its Stalacpipe organ, a huge stalactite which got its name for resembling a pipe organ. This formation now has a manmade console built especially to play tunes using the stalactites inside the cave, making it the world’s largest natural musical instrument. To visit Luray Caverns, take Kings Highway and US – 211 W from Harbor View RV & Camping Resort or US-29 N and I-81 N from Lynchburg RV Resort.
Have you visited any caves in the US or elsewhere? Tell us your stories about cooling down underground in the comments.