America’s Most Colorful Caverns

Are in West Central Ohio!

Long hailed as America’s Most Colorful Caverns, Ohio Caverns is colorful both above and below ground in fall.

Take a self-guided tour of the color pallet of trees and a guided tour of the color pallet of the caverns. It’s quite a vista either way. Enjoy a great old-fashioned picnic setting in the pavilion or under a tree between tours. It’s also a great time to sift the old miners’ sluice for precious gemstones. Get a bag of rough for the sluice inside the gift shop, which is one of the largest rock shops around and has a wide array of colors, too!

Nature carved a fairyland beneath the rolling, wooded hills of rural West Liberty, Ohio. Until its discovery in 1897, nobody knew a subterranean wonderland spanning over three miles was growing the most colorful caverns in America one drip at a time, undisturbed for ages.

During the year-round cave tours, visitors are treated to views of one-of-a-kind discoveries and rare finds. The “Crystal King” is the largest and most perfectly formed pure white crystal stalactite in any cave. According to current dating techniques, it is nearly five feet long after 200,000 years of growth. It is found apart from other formations, adding to its dramatic appearance in stark contrast to its surroundings. It is truly a king of stalactites.

Other rare stalactites found at Ohio Caverns are called helictites or “soda straws.” These resemble curly straws hanging from the ceiling. Somehow, they grow longer in a way that seems to defy gravity, twisting in weird directions up, down, sideways, and all around.

One of the more intriguing formations is the “Old Town Pump,” which looks just like it sounds down to the dripping water. It must have been fun coming up with such names. It’s reminiscent of lying on your back, staring at puffy white cloud formations, and with a little imagination poof, there’s an old town pump!

These are the only known caverns in the country where dual formations are found. This oddity consists of iron oxide tipped off with milky white calcium carbonate. It is a mystery why the two minerals remain distinctly separate, refusing to blend colors. But it creates a picturesque contrast.

The main reason people love to visit here time and again is the wide array of colors. In addition to black and white, the plentiful stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and other formations come in various colors, including yellow, orange, red, blue, and purple hues. The colorful climax is best seen in the “Palace of the Gods,” where there is an array of translucent crystals.

Over the years, various publications have dubbed Ohio Caverns as one of the best caves overall in the US.  Current tour times, rates, and other information to plan a visit are at OhioCaverns.com/.

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