There are almost 900 caverns and caves in North Carolina, most of which are located in either the mountains of Western North Carolina or the NC piedmont. But only a few of them are open to the public.
That being said, the accessible caves in NC are an impressive collection.
Better still, these NC caves are sprinkled throughout the region. So at least one or two are likely to be near whichever North Carolina mountain town you’re visiting.
In other words, from north to south, the best opportunities for caving in North Carolina are less than an hour away from one another. They’ll also provide a completely different way to see the state– from below!
You Need to See These 5 NC Caves and Caverns on Your Next Visit
Linville Caverns | Marion, NC
The Linville Caverns are one of North Carolina’s most mysterious attractions. The unique subterranean world is located inside Humpback Mountain, a 4,245-foot peak in the Pisgah National Forest. This magnificent work of nature can be seen up close with a guided tour. During the tour, visitors will learn the history of the caverns while observing its intricacies and even taking photographs.
Pro-tip: The temperature inside these caverns stays at about 52 degrees throughout the year, so we suggest wearing a jacket or sweater. The Linville Caverns are open at different times during each season, and they are only a 60-minute, scenic drive away from our bed and breakfast!
Boone’s Cave | Lexington, NC
Boone’s Cave is named after Daniel Boone, a legendary pioneer whose family settled on the Yadkin River banks in 1730. During his teenage years, Daniel would even use the cave as a secret hideout! Now, the cave is a part of the 110-acre Boone’s Cave Park. You will also find hiking trails, river access, a picnic area, a 1700s-style cabin, and the state’s tallest cottonwood tree!
Tory’s Den | Walnut Cove, NC
It’s no secret that North Carolina’s mountains boast magnificent views, but Hanging Rock State Park is truly one-of-a-kind. This park is the site of Tory’s Den, a cave that is rumored to have been used by the Tories as a hideout during the American Revolution. When you visit, make sure you bring a flashlight because very little light makes its way into Tory’s Den, and it is very dark! The cave and four nearby waterfalls are easily accessible from the 2.7-mile Tory’s Den Trail.
Rumbling Bald Caves | Lake Lure, NC
Rumbling Bald Mountain in Chimney Rock is a popular hiking, camping, and spelunking destination. The caves at this mountain are easily accessible to park visitors. Inside, there are many fun spots to explore and unique rock climbing opportunities, too. As a bonus, take a walk through the shaded oak forests and enormous cliff faces to reach overlooks with breathtaking views of the area.
Asheville Salt Cave | Asheville, NC
Though not one of the naturally formed caverns in North Carolina, the Asheville Salt Cave is a sustainable cave-like structure focused on rejuvenation. This spa in downtown Asheville uses salt rock crystals for therapeutic purposes. These crystals have helped heal respiratory ailments, skin problems, arthritis, digestive issues, and more. Breathe in the salty air and let the cave work its magic! The beautiful city of Asheville is only a 30-minute, scenic drive away from our bed and breakfast.