The Most Common, Beautiful and Adventurous Cave Type is a Limestone Cave

A limestone cave is most likely to contain beautiful cave formations. Also, the deepest and longest caves in the world are of this type, making them some of the most adventurous . But how are these caves formed?

Limestone is mostly made up of the mineral calcite (calcium carbonate). Most limestone was formed on ancient ocean floors, the calcite coming from the shells of marine organisms. Limestone is very soluble, meaning it is easily dissolved. Rain water picks up carbon dioxide in the air and a weak solution of carbonic acid is formed. This water can dissolve limestone over time, creating a cave.

The same water that dissolved the calcite in the limestone can deposit the calcite in other areas of the cave, creating cave formations known as speleothems. These are the stalactites, stalagmites and other formations commonly found in this type of cave.

Recently, it has been discovered that the well-known caves of Carlsbad Caverns and Lechuguilla Cave were not formed from carbonic acid but from sulfuric acid. It was discovered that oil-eating microorganisms deep within the earth produce hydrogen sulfide that rose up and mixed with ground water producing sulfuric acid. It was this sulfuric acid that dissolved the limestone forming the caves.

Either way, because the soluble limestone is partially dissolved and carried away, these are a type of solutional cave. Less common solutional caves are formed in other types of rock like chalk, marble or gypsum.

Often limestone caves are named caverns. What's the Difference? They are really the same thing. The name cavern is often used for very large caves or caves that contain large rooms like the Big Room in Carlsbad Caverns. This is the largest cave room in the USA.

So where do we find limestone caves? They're in many areas of the world, so you have a lot to choose from when planning your next adventure.

The USA has many limestone caves and caverns. Below you will find a state by state listing of the most popular. Click on the ones that are links for more information.

To see these caves located on a map, click here.


Cathedral Caverns

Desoto Caverns

Rickwood Caverns

Russel Cave

Sequoyah Caverns


Colossal Cave

Grand Canyon Caverns

Kartchner Caverns


Blanchard Springs Caverns


California Caverns

Mercer Caverns

Mitchell Caverns

Moaning Cavern

Shasta Caverns


Cave of The Winds

Glenwood Caverns


Florida Caverns State Park


Bluespring Caverns

Indiana Caverns

Marengo Cave

Squire Boone Caverns

Wyandotte Caves


Maquoketa Caves

Spook Cave


Carter Caves

Diamond Caverns

Kentucky Caverns

Lost River Cave

Mammoth Cave National Park


Cameron Cave

Crystal Cave

Fantastic Caverns

Mark Twain Cave

Meramec Caverns

Talking Rocks Cavern


Lewis and Clark Caverns

New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns

Lechuguilla Cave


Lehman Caves

Whipple Cave

New York

Howe Caverns

Secret Caverns

North Carolina

Linville Caverns


Crystal Cave

Ohio Caverns

Olentangy Indian Caverns


Robbers Cave


Oregon Caves National Monument


Bear Cave

Crystal Cave PA

Indian Echo Caverns

Laurel Caverns

Lincoln Caverns

Lost River Caverns

Penns Cave

Puerto Rico (not a state, but almost)

Camuy Caves

South Dakota

Jewel Cave

Rushmore Cave

Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns

Wind Cave National Park


Appalachian Caverns

Bell Witch Cave

Bristol Caverns

Cumberland Caverns

Forbidden Caverns

Racoon Mountain Caverns

Tuckaleechee Caverns


Bracken Cave

Cascade Caverns

Inner Space Caverns

Longhorn Caverns

Natural Bridge Caverns

Sonora Caverns




Dixie Caverns

Luray Caverns

Skyline Caverns

West Virginia

Lost World Caverns

Organ Cave

Seneca Caverns

Smoke Hole Caverns


Cave of the Mounds

Crystal Cave

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