Top Ten U.S. Caves
This family-friendly show cave located under the Ozarks in the Meramec Valley comes complete with gift shop, restaurant, and 28 flavors of ice cream. Meramec Caverns' seven stories are composed of a series of natural underground openings, with another 26 miles of underground passages. One incredible speleothem, the Stage Curtain, measures 70 feet high, 60 feet wide, and 35 feet thick; the largest single cave formation in the world. Besides this 70-million-year-old, calcium-carbonate curtain, other notable formations in Meramec Caverns include the Wine Table and Onyx Mountain.
The largest cave in the "Cave State", Missouri is home to nearly 6,000 caves; Meramec Caverns has earned some notoriety for its various historical occupants. Used by local Indian tribes for shelter and, according to legend, used as a station by the Underground Railroad, the caverns also provided the perfect post-heist hideout for Jesse James and his gang.
Just the Facts
Open: All year
Cave temperature: 60° Fahrenheit year-round
Location: Eastern Missouri, about an hour west of St. Louis
For more information: Call Meramec Caverns at (800) 676-6105 or visit www.americascave.com
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication