Discover fun for the whole family at caverns and caves in Pennsylvania, natural wonders that offer everything from guided boat and lantern tours to gemstone panning and rappelling.
The naturally air-conditioned sites are especially nice for summer travel. Since many of the caves possess damp environments and temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees, good shoes and a light jacket are recommended. Be sure to visit one (or more!) of the Pennsylvania caves on our list.
The only all-water cavern and wildlife park in the U.S., Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park’s Centre Hall cavern tour features a one-hour motorboat ride on an underground stream surrounded by stunning stalactites and stalagmites of various shapes (try spotting “The Statue of Liberty”).
If you prefer an above-ground experience, try the 90-minute wildlife, farm, and nature tour through the park’s lands, where you’ll learn about the area’s geology, biology, and geography, and spot local inhabitants like bears, wolves, and Penn’s Cave’s icon – the mountain lion.
Partake in an underground adventure that’s more than 440 million years old at Indian Echo Caverns in Hummelstown. The 45-minute guided tour uncovers the natural underground beauty of the Hershey-Harrisburg region and offers a glimpse into rooms of natural spectacles, including stalactites, stalagmites, and even a lake. After the tour, try your luck at panning for gemstones, amethyst, jasper, calcite, and other precious treasures at Gem Mill Junction.
Indian Caverns in Spruce Creek, which has roots in Native American history and local folklore, has uniquely active formations that grow about one inch every 120 years. The guided tour takes visitors nearly one mile underground to discover Pennsylvania’s largest cavern. From columns and straw-like formations to a large rimstone pool, Indian Caverns’ well-lit interior is truly mesmerizing.
Lincoln Caverns & Whisper Rocks in Huntingdon hosts a one-hour tour of its two beautiful crystal caverns. Learn about crystals, stalactites, and large flowstones as you wind through the cave behind an expert guide. Other activities at Lincoln Caverns include panning for real gems and hiking along nature trails populated by rabbits, hawks, deer, wild turkeys, and more.
Pennsylvania’s largest cave can be discovered in the Laurel Highlands at Laurel Caverns Geological Park near Hopwood. Traditional guided tours of the cave’s miles of passages are available, and thrill-seekers can rappel from 45 feet off the ground in the developed cave. Laurel Caverns is also home to Kavernputt, the largest simulated cave, and an 18-hole miniature golf course.
Lost River Caverns in Hellertown is named for the mysterious river running through the cavern, originating from an unknown source and disappearing beneath the surface. In addition to the river, five cavern chambers hold eye-catching stalactites, stalagmites, crystal formations, and other fluorescent minerals.
Crystal Cave near Kutztown takes visitors 125 feet underground for cave tours of natural stone sculptures, including formations dubbed “The Prairie Dogs” and “The Totem Pole.” The cave also features stalactites, stalagmites, and pillar and dropstone formations. Crystal Cave’s lantern tour, offered Friday and Saturday evenings in July and August, boasts Victorian-clothing-clad guides discussing the history of the cave by lantern light.