This post was most recently updated on November 22nd, 2019
You’ll find the world is rich with mysterious hidden gems, both figuratively and literally. Crystal caverns — caves where natural crystals form — are some of the most ethereal, otherworldly sights to behold.
Many visitors and even citizens of the USA are shocked to find out that they’re within traveling distance of a beautiful crystal cavern. Here are five crystal caverns in the US that you won’t want to miss.
Mystic Caverns, Arkansas
Heading into the Ozarks can be an incredible adventure. The Mystic Caverns are a hidden gem that crystal lovers won’t want to miss during their travels. This mysterious series of caverns lives up to the name and will fill you with a sense of awe and wonder.
The Caverns consist of two main congregation areas: the Mystic Cavern and the Crystal Dome. In the Mystic Cavern proper, you’ll see large calcite formations that create the one-of-a-kind Pipe Organ. This rock formation stands over 30 feet high and 12 feet thick and gets its name for its resemblance to the instrument. This incredible underground cavern was once called the Mansion Cavern, due to its vast size.
The Crystal Dome stands at 70 feet tall, bringing you 110 feet underground. Within the dome area, a drip formation has created the Crystal Bell made of white calcite.
Venturing into the depths of the Mystic Caverns isn’t for the faint of heart. With lots of climbing and wet conditions, I don’t recommend visiting this spectacle for those with mobility issues or health concerns.
Crystal Cave, Ohio
The enchanting Crystal Cave of Ohio rests in Lake Erie on the South Bass Island, the third largest of the Lake Erie Islands. The Crystal Cave was discovered in the late 1800s and has a fascinating history. Today, the cave is significantly larger due to the extraction of the stunning white celestite crystals. It’s one of the most unique of the five crystal caverns.
It’s the celestite that makes visiting this cavern so worthwhile. These beautiful minerals tend to be white with a blue tint and can reach three feet in length. Within the cavern, you’ll feel encompassed by these crystals. It’s almost as though you’ve transported into the inside of an uncracked geode. During your tour, you’ll learn more about celestite and how it’s used to create fireworks.
Crystal Cave, Pennsylvania
A cavern of the same name is found in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvanian Crystal Cave is a local marvel and a hidden attraction that many tourists in the area overlook. That makes it a prime spot for geology enthusiasts to visit without worrying about line ups and crowds.
Venture 125 feet underground to see the crystalline ceiling that gives the cave its name. While you’re there, you can also enter the Crystal Cave Theater to learn more about geology and how the cave came to be formed. There are lighting and handrails throughout the cavern, making it ideal for a family adventure. The site also offers mini-golf, ice cream, and other amenities to pass the time.
Crystal Grottoes Caverns, Maryland
The Crystal Grottoes Caverns were discovered a century ago and boast more crystal formations per square foot than any other cave in the world. (Well, any other cave that’s been discovered)
The stunning calcium carbonate formations formed over thousands of years. They’re made through a complex process of carbonation, decarbonization, and mixing with plant matter through rain run-off.
In the depths of the cavern, you’ll see huge stalactites and stalagmites. You’ll also see intriguing formations reminiscent of miniature ancient buildings. The Crystal Grottoes Caverns are open from May to November, and offer affordable rates for aspiring young geologists.
Crystal Cave, Wisconsin
While the name isn’t unique, the Wisconsin Crystal Cave stands apart from those with the same name. This Crystal Cave has unique drip formations reminiscent of icicles, and even cave pearls, small pearl-like formations made of various mineral deposits. The Wisconsin Crystal Cave also has numerous interactive attractions, including a bat conservation program and tour, and the Adult Lantern Tour.
The cave also acts as a weather observation station, with scientists working to predict the weather using sensors. NASA also has a mysterious partnership with the cave and the University of Kansas to research vegetation formation within the depths.
Explore the Magical Depths
Exploring a cave can be an eye-opening experience. It’s fascinating to see what’s happening within the earth, and the variances between caves in different regions. Invoke your adventurous spirit and take a tour in one of the five crystal caverns near you. (Or all of them!)
About the Author
Wendy Dessler is a super connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized marketing plans depending on the industry and competition.