The Best Caves in Indiana, 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.

In the Midwestern US, commonly referred to as the Midwest, there’s a wide variety of states, with an even larger variety of caving locations. One of these states is Indiana, which means “Land of the Indians.” In this article, we’ll look at some of the best caves available in Indiana, including both the famous and the relatively unknown.

Featuring the 7th largest cave system in the world, you can expect to see something new here. Hundreds of miles of cave systems await beneath the surface. Without including undiscovered regions, there are more than 4000 known caves in this state alone.

While the Indiana Caverns are the largest in the state, there’s several other well-known caves that people like to go to. As always, stay safe, and cross these off your list as you go through them.

Bluespring Caverns Park

An image of the Northern Cavefish, one of the few cave animals found inside Bluespring Caverns Park

Bluespring Caverns is a karst and river type cave system, found in Lawrence County, Indiana. With 21 miles of surveyed passages, this is the second largest cave system in the state of Indiana.

Two types of limestone, separated by a thin layer of shale, sandwich what became the Bluespring Caverns. Until 1913, a spring drained into the White River from the mouth of the cave. When a dam was constructed on the White River, the entrance was shut off. For 27 years, no one could enter the cave again.

Then, in 1940, a severe storm triggered something, as a sinkhole opened up on the dairy farm of a man named George Colglazier. Fascinated by the cave, his children wanted to learn more, and word traveled fast. Visitors from around the world began to come explore the caverns, as George and his wife Eva provided amateur tours and warm hospitality. Their one rule to travelers was that they could not “destroy or remove from the caverns.”

Crayfish, salamanders, crickets, spiders, and beetles are some of the fauna that you’ll find her. The Northern Cavefish, a rare sightless fish, is also found here.

Today, the park is controlled by a commercial corporation. You can enjoy an hour-long boat ride, like one in the image below, where groups of up to 17 can enjoy the sights of this unique underground adventure.

You can learn more about Bluespring Caverns State Park here.

A group of tourists enjoys the Bluespring Caverns Park Boat Ride.

Corydon/Indiana Caverns

The Indiana Caverns might be the most exciting for the whole family. There’s some adventures available here that aren’t typically available at even some of the better commercial caves.

Located in Corydon, they’re sometimes called the Corydon Caverns, and are part of the Binkley Cave system. A sinkhole on a farm randomly opened up back in the early 1900s, and exploration of the cave was carried out soon afterward. Harvey Binkley, who purchased the farm in 1944, is memorialized through its name today. In 2012, the length of the Binkley Cave System expanded to 35 miles, making it the largest system in the state.

Visitors enjoy a cave tour with various cave formations and a waterfall on display. As shown in the image below, there’s also a boat ride along an underground stream as part of one tour. Kids can enjoy gemstone mining, escape rooms, and more.

An area of the cave is called Blowing Hole Boulevard, where several sets of animal bones were found. Further excavation revealed that these bones came from Pleistocene Ice Age animals, that lived 14,500 to 125,000 years ago. Some of those animals include the ground sloth, short-faced bear, and mastodon.

An image shows a group of tourists on a boat ride in the Indiana Caverns.

Marengo Cave

Marengo Cave is one of the five show caves located in Indiana. Discovered back in 1883, there’s some debate about when and how the cave was initially found. The state of Indiana holds that the cave was entered by two children initially, and then a team of explorers shortly after word spread.

Mr. Stewart, who owned the land, noticed one day that people were emerging from the cave with their hands full. People were breaking mineral formations from the walls and ceiling and simply walking off of his land with it. After prohibiting further “exploration”, Mr. Stewart was able to keep the rest of the cave mostly intact.

The entrance of the cave is known as Pillared Palace, and subsequent regions are named Queen’s Palace and Crystal Palace. Aptly named, these sections of the cave house incredible displays of minerals. Luckily, the first batch of explorers that gave themselves access completely missed these rooms, and left them undisturbed. Now, there’s a Crystal Palace tour that allows visitors to explore Marengo Cave and its plethora of cave formations year-round.

In 1992, a crawlway called Blowing Bat Crawl was broken through, leading to the discovery of approximately 3.5 miles (5.6 km) of additional cave. The total is about 5 miles (8 km) as far as we know.

Several movies have been filmed here, including Abby (1974), Madison (2001), and Fire from Below (2008).

A few tourists examine some of the large cave formations found inside Marengo Cave.

Porter Cave

Porter’s Cave is mentioned in Indiana State Geologist’s report since 1875. At the time, it was known as Miller’s Cave, and was occasionally used by Indians and early settlers. The 1875 report described the cave as “surrounded by wild canyon-like scenery, romantic and interesting.”

So where did the name Porter come from? The Francis Kittredge Porter family, from New Hampshire, originally settled in Indiana around 1812. In those days, the cave was open to the public and often used for revivals at the church, where people would be baptized in its 55 degree waters.

Several lives have been lost here. Several years ago, a man was climbing the face of the cave entrance and fell to his death. More information about the man and the incident is not available.

While there isn’t a lot to do at Porter Cave, there’s several caves in the area. Rogers Cave and Lost Boy Cave are two of them, and the area is loaded with sinkholes, so there are likely some more.

Spring Mill State Park: Twin Caves, Hamer Cave, Donaldson Cave

In 1814, Samuel Jackson Jr. built a dam across a creek, diverting water to a mill wheel. Through the past 200 years, this stream was relied upon by multiple farmers and families, building various dams and using the water in multiple ways.

Today, this stream emerges from what is called Hamer Cave. At the Spring Mill State Park, Hamer Cave is one of several caves that are available for exploration and tours. The others are Twin Caves and Donaldson Cave, though access is limited.

At Donaldson Cave, also known as Shawnee Cave, you need authorization from the Indiana DNR. The water inside is so deep that swimming is required, which poses significant risk to unexpecting adventurers. With chances of flooding and previous history of white nose syndrome, they are taking it seriously here. You’re free to walk around and enjoy the trails near the cave, however, and enjoy the cold water by the entrance.

Twin Caves is located by a short river at the bottom of a sinkhole. This stream, beginning as Mosquito Creek, travels through the Twin Cave System, emerges at Twin Caves, flows back into the Lower Twin Cave, and then exits again at Bronson Cave to the northwest. The caves are part of , where caving enthusiasts explore the southern cave entrance via boat, traveling upstream for about 20 minutes into the cave.

The tour itself is quite cheap, only $3 per person, but open only during the summer. Bring lots of bug spray.

A large hole leads into darkness above a stream which leads into Twin Caves.

Squire Boone Caverns

Squire Boone was an American pioneer and legend, discovering the eponymous caverns in 1790. It’s said that he was being tracked by Indians and found refuge here, later calling it a holy ground.

A settlement was established around Boone’s Mill, and it’s still operating now. When he passed in 1815, Squire Boone was buried near the entrance to the cave. Today, tourists that visit the Squire Boone Caverns can learn about the history of Boone’s Mill, as well as explore various activities inside the caves. You can see his tombstone below.

A tombstone reads Squire Boone Jr.'s birth and death date, and some of his life accomplishments.

Considered a more leisurely experience, this cave offers tours on lighted walkways with minimal stairs. During the tour, viewers can find various cave formations including stalagmites, stalactites, and a large underground waterfall, shown in the image below. Squire Boone Caverns also features one of the largest rimstone formations in the world, and the largest in North America.

While not the biggest caves in the state, Squire Boone Caverns features the longest zipline in the area, almost half a mile long.

You can learn more about Squire Boone Caverns here.

A bright red and purple artificially lit waterfall, found underground at the Squire Boone Caverns in Indiana

Sullivan Cave

Sullivan Cave changed ownership in 1998, and is now run by the Indiana Karst Conservancy (IKC). Unlike some of the other caves on this list, this one is not as family-friendly. You’ll want appropriate gear and proper training before you tackle Sullivan Cave.

Groups that would like to visit must apply for access, and comply with all the guidelines in place. The IKC is doing its best to protect the landscape and environment here, and donations are still sought out because of low funding.

There’s a section of the cave here that connects the “Waterfall Room” and another smaller passage. Surveyors believe that explorers found this location back in the 1840s.

Another region of the cave is an extended passageway with a very low ceiling, aptly named “Backbreaker.” You’ll want knee pads, sufficient lighting, and a proper exercise routine if you want to get out of that one without a pulled muscle. In the Backbreaker room, markings from the 1800s intrigue visitors.

In recent years, a ceiling collapse has partially blocked off the Water Room. Vandalism is still an issue, but the biggest risk is typically the areas with water. Be sure to go with a responsible group.

Measuring in at the 4th longest cave in the state, Sullivan Cave might be the most interesting one for actual caving. You’ll find the famous Sullivan cavefish in the Sullivan River, and various bats, beetles, salamanders, and crayfish inside the cave itself.

Wolf Cave

Wolf Cave is part of the McCormick Creek State Park. Several sinkholes formed here when the limestone gradually fell away under the soul, and left a network of underground passageways for the water that fell into them. Wolf Cave is the name of one of these large passageways, albeit a dry one, that became exposed over time due to erosion.

As the underground stream worked its way through the rock, it eventually stopped filtering through this area, leaving a dry cave. It’s not one of the more exciting caves in Indiana, and doesn’t feature any noteworthy cave formations. But it’s still on our list because people enjoy visiting it in McCormick State Park.

Animals here include mostly various kinds of birds, like wood warblers and thrushes.

Wyandotte Caves

The Wyandotte Caves are found on the Ohio River in Crawford County. This is the 5th largest cave system in the state, but the two caves are completely separate. They are named Wyandotte Cave (or Historic Cave), and Little Wyandotte Cave (or Siberts Cave). Sometimes the second cave is called “New Cave”.

The Wyandotte Caves are roughly 2 million years old. The Pliocene Era glaciers are believed to have contributed immensely to the formation, as advancing and retreating glaciers destroyed the pre-existing Teays River and put the Ohio River in its place. As the glaciers melted away, the water dissolved the limestone and produced the Wyandotte Caves over hundreds of thousands of years. Indiana is sitting on mostly bedrock, so the potential for cave formation is higher than in other places.

An image of a helictite formation in some cave.
A helictite crystal

Wyandotte Cave features massive rooms and long, open passageways. Helictites, a rare speleothem, litter the cave in great numbers. Other cave formations include stalactites, stalagmites, columns, flowstone, cave bacon, cave draperies, and more. If you’re passionate about caves and the various forms of rocks and crystals within them, this place is a gold mine.

These caves also carry some interesting history. Native Americans used these caves for nearly 4000 years, and carbon dating provides evidence of human activity as far back as 8,000 BC. The natives mined for aragonite, used in pipes and necklaces, and chert, used for stone tools.

An image shows a large room filled with various cave formations inside Wyandotte Cave of Indiana.


A native or resident of Indiana is known as a Hoosier. I’m not sure if cavers get their own title here, but you’ve definitely got your work cut out for you in the Hoosier State. If you plan to explore all of the caves listed above, be sure to prepare accordingly. It gets really cold in the winter.

When you’re done, you’ll have a couple more states nearby to consider. Kentucky, the home of the massive Mammoth Cave, is located just south across the Ohio River. You can check out some of the other bordering states next:

Illinois Caves

Kentucky Caves

Michigan Caves

Ohio Caves

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