Underground exploration is front and center at the many caves found in North American national parks. When they visit the following three U.S. caves, groups can take part in guided walks that showcase the amazing rock formations or go for more demanding wild cave tours and spelunking adventures.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico)
Below the Chihuahuan Desert lie the remains of millions of years of erosion and sculpting. A quarter-mile trail leads to one of the New Mexico cave’s signature features, the aptly named Big Room, which is 4,000 feet wide and 255 feet high. Carlsbad also is known for its night-sky programs.
Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky)
Located in the hills of south-central Kentucky, this attraction is home to the world’s longest known cave system. There are a number of ranger-led tours, which take groups to notable areas including Frozen Niagara, Grand Avenue and Fat Man’s Misery. WIld caving excursions are popular for the more adventurous.
Wind Cave National Park (South Dakota)
As they explore hundreds of miles of passageways, travelers can see Wind Cave’s rarely found boxwork, a honeycomb-like pattern formed on the rocks. Above ground, bison, elk and other wildlife are visible among the rolling prairie of the western South Dakota park's 28,295 acres.
Top photo: Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Photo by National Park Service