Whether you’re an avid spelunker or a curious learner, you’ll probably agree that caves are cool in more ways than one. Because they aren’t affected by above-ground weather patterns, caves tend to have somewhat cool temperatures that stay the same year-round. The difference? Cave temperatures vary around the globe.
Average cave temperatures for the USA, Europe, UK, and Thailand:
|USA||40 to 70 degrees|
|Europe||34 to 63 degrees|
|UK||48 to 50 degrees|
|Thailand||50 to 75 degrees|
No two caves are the same, and neither are their temperatures. You’ll probably want to bring along a jacket no matter which cave you plan to explore – but just so you can be sure, we’ll walk you through average cave temperatures in the USA, Europe, the UK, and Thailand.
If you’re interested in caving, be sure to read my Beginners Guide and recommended gear section.
What is the Average Temperature in a Cave?
Every cave is different, and therefore every cave’s temperature can differ. However, we can still find some average temperatures for caves in different regions of the world.
First, it’s important to understand cave temperatures, how they behave, and why they are what they are.
A cave’s temperature depends on several factors, like where the cave is located geographically and at what altitude the cave is located. As a general rule of thumb, a cave’s temperature tends to be close to the average temperature or climate of its geographical location.
So, as an example – a cave in Thailand’s humid, tropical climate will likely have a different temperature than, say, a cave in Romania’s temperate climate that has long winters.
This aspect isn’t too complicated or hard to understand, and works pretty well across the board – you can likely already infer that an ice cave will have a much different temperature than a tropical sea cave.
Additionally, cave temperatures typically stay the same year-round. While that may seem surprising at first, it makes a lot of sense – since caves are underground, they aren’t affected by weather patterns like the land above ground is.
Because there are so many caves located in so many different climates with various temperatures, it can be hard to put an exact number on the average temperature inside a cave.
Some caves can drop to a temperature below zero degrees, like Eisriesenwelt Cave in Austria – the world’s largest ice cave. On the other hand, some caves can reach inside temperatures exceeding 70 degrees, like Peppersauce Cave in Arizona.
However, the average temperature inside a cave is often anywhere from 48 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit.
Average Cave Temperatures for the USA, Europe, the UK and Thailand With Examples
As you previously read, the USA, Europe, the UK, and Thailand all have differing average cave temperatures.
Remember, cave temperature is largely due to the geographical location of the area it’s in as well as its latitude.
To show you average cave temperatures for the USA, Europe, the UK, and Thailand, we’ve compiled a guide to average cave temperatures – with examples of real caves and their exact temperatures.
As a note – since areas like the USA and Europe are so large and have some different climates within their areas, the USA and Europe have been further broken down into regions in their guides below.
Before embarking on some actual spelunking adventures, let’s explore the average cave temperatures in the USA, Europe, the UK, and Thailand.
USA Average Cave Temperatures
Average cave temperatures in the USA are anywhere from 40 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Those numbers vary pretty widely, but there’s a good reason why – the USA has several different regions with different climates.
For example, the South region of the USA is warm, humid, and in some areas even tropical – where the Northeast region is more temperate, with warm summers and long, harshly cold winters.
To better understand average cave temperatures in the USA, take a look at the examples of real caves with their exact temperatures in each region – the Northeast, the South, the Midwest, and the West.
|Cave Name and Location||Cave Temperature (all temperatures are in Fahrenheit)||Region of the USA|
|Crystal Grottoes Caverns, Maryland||54 degrees||Northeast|
|Laurel Caverns, Pennsylvania||52 degrees||Northeast|
|Cave of the Mounds, Wisconsin||50 degrees||Midwest|
|Marvel Cave, Missouri||60 degrees||Midwest|
|Mammoth Cave, Kentucky||54 degrees||South|
|Cascade Caverns, Texas||68 degrees||South|
|Lake Shasta Caverns, California||58 degrees (but 95% humidity can make it feel more like 68-70 degrees)||West|
|Minnetonka Cave, Idaho||40 degrees||West|
Europe Average Cave Temperatures
Average cave temperatures in Europe are anywhere from 34 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit.
Like the USA, those temperatures vary pretty widely. Again, like the USA, that’s because Europe has different regions with diverse climates.
For example, Northern Europe’s climate features mild summers and cold, humid winters, but Southern Europe’s climate is Meditteranean, which means frequent sun and hot summers.
That makes for some differing cave temperatures in Europe.
To see where these average temperatures came from, explore the examples of caves in Europe per region with their exact year-round temperatures.
|Cave Name and Location||Cave Temperature in Fahrenheit||Region of Europe|
|Coral Cave, Sweden||39 degrees||Northern Europe|
|Grjótagjá Cave, Iceland||34 degrees||Northern Europe|
|Coliboaia Cave, Romania||48 degrees||Eastern Europe|
|Baradla Cave, Hungary||50 degrees||Eastern Europe|
|Canelobre Caves, Spain||63 degrees||Southern Europe|
|Borgio Verezzi Caves, Ital||61 degrees||Southern Europe|
|Atta Cave, Germany||48 degrees||Western Europe|
|Lurgrotte Cave, Austria||50 degrees||Western Europe|
UK Average Cave Temperatures
Average cave temperatures in the UK are 48 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Those temperatures aren’t too different, and that’s likely because most of the UK has a temperate climate.
Even though the cave temperatures in the UK don’t vary too widely, there are still a lot of different caves in the UK, thanks to the many areas of England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.
Take a look at three of the UK’s caves with their exact temperatures below.
|Cave Name and Location||Cave Temperature in Fahrenheit|
|Ogof Ffynnon Ddu Cave, Wales||48 degrees|
|Marble Arch Caves, Northern Ireland||50 degrees|
|Gaping Gill Cave, England||48 degrees|
Thailand Average Cave Temperatures
Average cave temperatures in Thailand are 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Caves in Thailand tend to be a lot warmer than a lot of the caves you’ve read about in this article so far. Unsurprisingly, most of that has to do with Thailand’s climate – it’s tropical and very humid.
While some Thailand caves can reach inside temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and above, many are around 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Thailand caves with lower temperatures can be a welcome reprieve from the hot, humid, and sunny weather aboveground.
To understand the average cave temperatures in Thailand, explore the three cave examples and their temperatures below.
|Cave Name and Location||Cave Temperature in Fahrenheit|
|Tham Nam Lod Caves, Tambon Tham Lot||50 degrees|
|Tham Luang Nang Non Cave, Doi Nang Nan||70 to 75 degrees|
|Tham Phra Wang Daeng Cave, Amphoe Noen Maprang||70 degrees|
Caves are cool in more ways than one – literally.
Many caves have average inside temperatures of 48 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit and tend to be cooler than the weather aboveground.
However, it’s important to remember that no two caves are the same, and neither are their temperatures. Cave temperatures are directly related to the geographic area in which they’re located and the latitude at which they’re located.
Therefore, caves around the world can have very different temperatures.
No matter where you’re interested in going spelunking, you’ll probably want to bring along a jacket or two – and something to document your adventures with.
When you’re ready to get started caving, be sure to read my Beginners Guide and check out my recommended gear section.