The Best Caves in Georgia, USA: Complete List

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Beware: You should never explore wild caves alone or without proper gear. Consider getting in touch with a Grotto of the National Speleological Society at or a qualified cave club. These groups are skilled and will train you. Without sufficient knowledge, preparation, and equipment, cave exploring can lead to serious injury or death.

Georgia is one of those special places in the United States that has coastal beaches, farmland, and mountains. However, the thing most people are surprised to learn is that Georgia also has more than 500 caves. Most of the most prominent caving destinations are located in North Georgia. They are unique and fun to explore for the whole family.

The total combined length of all Georgian caves is almost 82 miles. Therefore, calling this place a heaven for cavers is no exaggeration. If you are a professional caver or researcher, you can even contact the caving authorities to request a formal visit.

Here are the top 3 caves in Georgia that will be exciting, appropriately challenging, and memorable, as you will feel like you are entering another world.

Ellison’s Cave

Shows 3 cavers climbing a very high vertical scent in Ellison's Cave, Georgia.

If you love caving as much as we do, it won’t be possible for you to describe the thrilling experience of this cave.

But this cave is not for the average or weak-hearted caver.

It features vertical pitches, deepest pits, and parallel passages that look smoky and majestic, as though they were designed by God himself. It has been labeled as the 12th deepest cave in the United States, and experts call it the ‘Fantastic Pit’.

People interested in visiting Ellison’s cave in Georgia should learn about its geology well to ensure they bring the right equipment. Its geology is a bit different than most other caves. For example, the depth of this cave depends on the large fault zone that travels throughout the southern Appalachians and northern Georgia. 

Furthermore, it is a solution cave and situated in the bedrock fault in Pigeon Mountain.

Most people don’t prepare adequately for Ellison’s cave before visiting it, and that’s why they have unfortunately faced a few accidents in the past.

For instance, in 2011, two students died of hypothermia in Ellison’s cave. They became trapped near the waterfall. Experts reported that both of them were underprepared for the cave, and it could have been prevented. Don’t let it happen to you, and read up on the cave’s challenges before you plan your trip!

Pettyjohn’s Cave

The "Pancake room" in Pettyjohn's cave, Georgia, USA, features a very low hanging ceiling for cavers to crawl under.
The “Pancake Room” in Pettyjohn’s Cave

This is a karst cave system in Walker County.

If you have already visited Ellison’s cave, visiting Pettyjohn’s cave should come easy for you. You can find Pettyjohn’s cave on the east side of Pigeon mountain. It is not as deep as Ellison’s cave but it has vertical slopes and walls that will beckon for you to climb them. The surveyed length of this cave is more than 31,000 feet, whereas the depth can reach almost 230 feet.

We recommend visiting this cave before Ellison’s cave in Georgia. You can even use this area of Georgia as one of your training caves. It gives you a glimpse of what type of difficulty you will face in Ellison’s cave. You not only climb the walls and slopes but also crawl through the Warm Tube and 150 ft. passageways that test your stamina (and perhaps the durability of your knee pads!).

The Bridge Room

The area we love the most in Pettyjohn’s cave is the ‘Bridge Room’.

It is an breathtaking location where you can easily find yourself lost in your own amazement. It allows you to hang your feet over an edge and enjoy the stream over 80 feet below, while also catching your breath for a moment.

But you will quickly find that listening to the water below is so soothing that you will want to spend hours here.

Pettyjohn's bridge room overlooks this depicted area and waterfall, providing a serene, relaxing area to take a break in these Georgia Caves.
Pettyjohn’s bridge room overlooks this area and waterfall, providing a serene, relaxing area to take a break.

Key Notes about Pettyjohn’s Cave

There are some important facts that you need to know before visiting Pettyjohn’s cave.

  • It is free to visit this cave; there are no charges at all. For that reason, traffic here is heavy. You will see plenty of other tourists and cavers in this cave.
  • Many people think it is good for the kids and family. It is an easy cave, but not too easy. You have to proceed with caution. Hundreds of people get injuries in this cave each year. Most of the injuries are because of insufficient gear and knowledge. So, ensure you know very well what you are getting yourself into ahead of time. It is recommended to have elbow and knee pads, a good quality overall, sturdy boots, and gloves for comfort and protection.
  • Check weather reports before caving; it is not suitable to visit this cave in the rainy season.
  • If you need a break, visit the bridge room. It is also the highlight of this cave. It has a nice ambiance; you can relax and listen to the stream. There are two waterfalls too; one is larger while another one is small, but you have to climb it to reach the labyrinth.
  • You may take photographs inside this cave. Take as many photos as you like during your trip. During the winter season, you can take photographs of the bats, but please be mindful not to cause too much of a disturbance with your flash. Bats hibernate inside this cave during the colder season. 

Sitton’s Cave

It is a family cave, and the best part is, you can have a guide. It is a wild cave and opens to the public for exploration. Among all these above caves, it is safe and 2-3 hours are enough to visit it. It is also classified as a river cave by experts.

The wide mouth entrance portal makes it look like a beast.

You feel like you are about to visit another world. It is so unique, but at the same time, compels you to crawl too, as the ceilings are low and the surface is muddy.

After the initial crawl, the cave starts to open up. You notice seriously cool surroundings around you. There are many interesting rock formations Particularly the ceiling looks weird. The formation we have personally seen in this cave is totally different. It feels like the water continuously dropped from the ceiling and walls for thousands of years.

Another thing that you notice inside this cave is the presence of water. For that reason, it is known as a ‘wet cave’ and ‘river cave’.

Sitton’s cave is known to be very cold and wet inside, so be sure to bring enough layers and a means to keep yourself dry! We recommend some good quality waterproof jackets or caving suits and some extra socks.


When you spend your time in one of these caves with the right equipment and having taken proper precautions, you quickly see why professional cavers love caves more than anything life has to offer. The sense of excitement and mystery with a new dark, cold and often uncomfortable environment gives you an adventure that you never experience in any other activity.

Most of the caves in Georgia formed on limestone bedrock. They have faults and fractures in them that are enlarged by weathering, making each particularly intriguing and often challenging. Unfortunately, the caves in Georgia usually don’t have any signs of wildlife. However, they do host various types of insects and flies which often grow in the lightless environment.

When looking for more caving opportunities, you can find some in the neighboring states. Check out some of those below:

Alabama Caves

Florida Caves

North Carolina Caves

South Carolina Caves

Tennessee Caves

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