North Carolina is home to over 900 caves and caverns. While most aren’t open to the public, there are a few that welcome visitors. Below, we’ve created a list of five accessible caves in North Carolina that beckon all to explore. Afterward, if you are looking for more outdoor adventure, simply download our free Chimney Rock/Lake Lure Vacation Guide. Our guide is full of recommendations on the best spots in Western North Carolina for hiking, rock climbing, river rafting, and more.
Explore These 5 Caves in North Carolina
1. Linville Caverns
Linville Caverns is one of the most popular caves in North Carolina. It is located inside of Humpback Mountain, a 4,245-foot peak within Pisgah National Forest. The Linville Caverns have been open to the public since 1937 and offer a glimpse into the subterranean world.
Guided tours of the cavern are available. These tours are an excellent way to learn the history of the mountain and snap some photographs inside, flash allowed! Because temperatures stay at about 52 degrees throughout the year, we suggest bringing a jacket or sweater. The Linville Caverns are open at different times during each season, so consult their website before making your 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. Interestingly, when Daniel was about 16 years old, he would use the cave as his secret hideout!
Boone’s Cave is a part of the 110-acre Boone’s Cave Park. Here, you will also find hiking trails, river access, a picnic area, and a 1700s-style cabin. The park is also home to the state’s tallest cottonwood tree!
3. Tory’s Den
It’s no secret that the mountains of North Carolina boast magnificent views, but Hanging Rock State Park truly stands out! 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. Before you make your trip, make sure your flashlight is charged – 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 Caves
Rumbling Bald Mountain in Chimney Rock is a popular hiking, camping, and spelunking destination. The caves at this mountain are easily accessible. Inside of the caves, there are many fun places to explore and unique rock climbing opportunities, too. 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.
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. These crystals have helped heal respiratory ailments, skin problems, arthritis, digestive issues, and more. All you have to do is breathe in the salty air and let the cave work its magic.
The Best Lodging In Chimney Rock
Surrounded by Western North Carolina’s natural beauty, The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy everything the region offers. Our inn is tucked away in one of the most incredible canyons and nestled along the Rocky Broad River, making it a great place to plan your next outdoor adventure.
When you book a stay in any of our beautiful cabins, like The Rocky Broad River Cabin, you can look forward to the best amenities, packages, and top-notch service. Complimentary breakfast, spa services, an onsite restaurant, and proximity to the bustling city of Asheville are just a few perks that you can enjoy. If you are ready to plan your next getaway, check our current specials and book your stay.