5 Caves in North Carolina You Need to See to Believe

Did you know that North Carolina is home to over 900 caves and caverns? While most aren’t open to the public, there are a few that are just waiting to be explored! Whether you’re embarking on a hiking, rock climbing, or sightseeing adventure, these caves in North Carolina provide a closer look at some awesome rock formations. Here are a few of our favorites.

Learn more about our region’s spectacular natural features when you download our free vacation guide. It’s full of information on great places to visit during your stay at The Esmeralda!

Top 5 Caves in North Carolina

1. Linville Caverns

One of the most popular caves in North Carolina can be found inside of Humpback Mountain, a 4,245-foot peak located within Pisgah National Forest. The Linville Caverns have been open to the public since 1937 and offer a glimpse into the subterranean world. Take a guided tour and learn the history of the mountain, then snap some photographs inside, flash allowed! We also suggest bringing a jacket or sweater as the temperature stays at 52 degrees year-round.

Note: The Linville Caverns are open at different times during each season. Be sure to consult their website before making the journey.

2. Boone’s Cave

Boone’s Cave is named after Daniel Boone, a legendary pioneer whose family settled on the banks of the Yadkin River in 1730. At the time, Daniel was about 16 years old and the cave was his hideout. It’s part of the 110-acre Boone’s Cave Park which offers hiking trails, river access, a picnic area, and a 1700s-style cabin. You’ll also find the state’s tallest cottonwood tree on the property. 

3. Tory’s Den

The mountains of North Carolina boast magnificent views, and Hanging Rock State Park is no exception. This park is the site of Tory’s Den, a cave that was supposedly used by the Tories as a hideout during the American Revolution. (Make sure your flashlight is charged before you enter – Tory’s Den is very dark!) The cave and four nearby waterfalls are easily accessible from the 2.7-mile Tory’s Den Trail.

4. Rumbling Bald Cave

Rumbling Bald Cave in Rutherford County is a popular hiking, camping, and spelunking destination. It’s a fun place to explore, and you can enjoy quite a bit of unique rock climbing inside the cave. The trails surrounding Rumbling Bald Mountain also offer breathtaking views. You’ll traverse along rocky pathways, through oak forests, and over enormous cliff faces on your way to this cave.

5. Asheville Salt Cave

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. In fact, the crystals have helped heal respiratory ailments, skin problems, arthritis, digestive issues, and more! All you have to do is breathe in the salty air spa and let the cave work its magic.

Book Your Stay at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant

If you’re looking for the perfect place to unwind after your outdoor expedition, head to our bed and breakfast in Chimney Rock, NC. We offer a number of beautiful guest rooms and cabins in a woodsy mountain setting. Plus, you can take advantage of amenities like an outdoor spa, game room, and an incredible on-site restaurant. So what are you waiting for? Check our availability or call us at (888) 897-2999 to make your reservations! We can’t wait to hear all about your adventures.