Best time to visit West Virginia

Caves & Caverns in West Virginia 2023-2024

Treat yourself to the wonderful underground sightseeing in Almost Heaven

Best time: all year round

Caves & Caverns
Caves & Caverns
Caves & Caverns
Caves & Caverns
Caves & Caverns
Seneca Caverns
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Both southern and northern West Virginia have an array of underground adventures preserved to delight your inner explorer. Local caves and caverns offer options for everyone, from family-friendly self-guided tours to real caving experience, muddy, wet, and slithery.

Southern West Virginia

Lost World Caverns The most popular destination in southern West Virginia is Lost World Caverns, located just north of Lewisburg. The wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites reaches the depth of 235 ft (72 m). The tours operate daily year-round, in January and February—on weekends only. One of the options is the Cave Tour, a self-guided tour 120 ft (37 m) under the ground. Around 45 minutes is enough to walk through a half-mile loop. Remember to stay on the trail and wear good shoes along with a light jacket, as the caverns always have a temperature of 54°F (12°C), no matter the season.

For a true caving experience, choose the 4-hour guided Wild Cave Tour that will take you to the deepest and darkest corners of the underground maze. You'll need hiking shoes, warm long-sleeves, and pants, as well as a complete change of clothing, including undergarments, a towel for the shower, and possibly some medicine. Caving equipment is provided. A safety talk and a lunch break will take an extra 2 hours. So in total, you'll spend 6 hours at the location.

Organ Cave The historic Organ Cave, located in the very heart of Greenbrier County, is another gem of southern West Virginia. Stretching for 45 mi (72 km), Organ Cave is the second-longest commercial cave found on the east coast. In addition to its role in the American Civil War, fascinating rock formations, and prehistoric fossils, the cave is also renowned for bats! Walking tours operate year-round, from November to April—by reservation only.

Northern West Virginia

Seneca Caverns In northern West Virginia, the top choice is Seneca Caverns, located amidst the Potomac Highlands on a Native American trading route. The caverns are 4.5 million years old and once used to be home to the Seneca Indians and other tribes. You can join a family-friendly cave tour Wednesday through Sunday. For about an hour, a guide will lead you along a well-lit pathway 165 ft (50 m) below the entrance. Also, you can try gemstone mining and return home with a souvenir. After the caverns, be sure to take your time and explore the iconic Seneca Rocks.

Smoke Hole Caverns & Log Cabin Resort At last, discover the depth of Smoke Hole Caverns, just north of Seneca Caverns, likewise steeped in rich history. Once Seneca Indians used these caverns to smoke wild game, and other settlers made corn whiskey inside these natural formations. The visitors are welcome to guided tours year-round to learn more about the fascinating past of the Smoke Hole and marvel at the stalactites, helictites, columns, and draperies. Gemstone mining experience is also on offer.

Extra tips

For further details, such as hours of operation and prices, refer to the caverns and caves directly (check "External Resources" below). Such information is subject to change.

Practical info

When can visitors go on tours at Lost World Caverns?

Lost World Caverns, a famous underground destination in Southern West Virginia, is open throughout the year except for January and February when tours are only available on weekends. Visitors can join the self-guided tour and freely walk around a half-mile loop 120 feet below the ground for around 45 minutes. Apart from the self-guided tour, visitors who join the Wild Cave Tour, a guided tour, can explore the deepest part of the underground formation. Show more

What is the location of Seneca Caverns?

Seneca Caverns, situated in the Potomac Highlands of Northern West Virginia, used to be a Native American trading route. Visitors can access the cavern every Wednesday to Sunday and tour along a 50-meter path lit by LED lights. Seneca Rocks, an iconic destination in West Virginia adjoins the caverns. Visitors should not miss the opportunity to explore this magnificent structure in the state. Show more

What is the extent of Lost World Caverns?

The impressive Lost World Caverns reaches down 235 feet (72 meters) towards the abyss that lures visitors to explore the Southern West Virginia's underground. The popular cave offers a self-guided tour that takes visitors around 45 minutes to cover half-a-mile under the earth's surface. For the more daring visitors, there is also a Wild Cave Tour with a guide where they can explore the deepest part of the cave, offering a more challenging four-hour adventure. Show more

What is required for visitors who want to join the Wild Cave Tour?

The Wild Cave Tour in Lost World Caverns offers a four-hour spelunking adventure in the underground maze. Visitors who want to join the Wild Cave Tour should prepare accordingly. Suitable hiking shoes, warm long-sleeved clothes, and pants are necessary, and visitors are required to have a complete change of clothing and carry their medicines. The tour's duration is around six hours, including safety and lunch breaks, and visitors will receive the necessary cave equipment before the tour. Show more

What other attractions are available at Smoke Hole Caverns apart from tours?

Smoke Hole Caverns is more than just a destination to explore. The caverns offer an array of activities, including gemstone mining, so visitors can take home souvenirs. Accommodation at the Log Cabin Resort is also available, and visitors can take the time to explore one of the region's fantastic spots. Smoke Hole is home to its natural beauty and a diverse wildlife habitat, including native rainbow trout that thrive in the South Branch of the Potomac River. Show more

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Authors: Olha Savych