Where to Go Caving in Georgia?

Written by Jim Belt in Beginner info

I can't seem to find a complete list of all caves in Georgia, USA. So I've made the list myself, and included a map with pointers to the main cave systems that are cool to visit.

Start with Cloudland Canyon Park, visiting Case and Sitton's Cave. and then move on to Crockford Pigeon Mountain, which contains some of the coolest caves in the state, like Ellison's Cave.

Georgia truely is a great area for caving. Especially Walker County (in the Northwest region, at the junction of the Tennessee and Alabama border) contains many beautiful caves and canyons. It's a very karst-heavy region, resulting in some very long and deep systems.

If you want to know what to wear to a guided cave tour, I recommend reading my article 'What to Wear on a Cave Tour?'.

List of Caves in Georgia US

  1. Crockford Pigeon Mountain (Walker County)
  • Petty John's Cave
  • Ellison's Cave
  • Frick's Cave (closed to protect endangered life)
  • Rocktown
  1. Cloudland Canyon State Park (Walker County)
    • G3 Adventures Outpost
    • Case Cave
    • Sitton's Cave
  2. Fox Mountain Preserve (Dade County)
    • Cemetry Pit Cave
    • Rusty's Cave
    • Howard's Waterfall Cave
    • Byers Cave
  3. Glory Hole Caverns (Grady County - Southwest Border)
  4. Climax Caverns - Decatur County
  5. Kingston Saltpeter Cave

These are just some of the caves in this area. There are a lot of wild caves and caves that are closed to the public in this area. This list gives you the most popular caves that are open to the public. Some even have guided cave tours. Most wild caves are not on this list. You can check with your local grotto to find smaller and more obscure caves (link to grottos at bottom of this post).

But it's up to you to find the gems and jewels. The reason they are not on this list is because US cavers have to keep the locations secret, in order to preserve and protect the caves and the life they contain.

Let's Put Them on a Map

To help out with finding the caves, I've put all the above on this Google Maps. Hopefully, it's helpful to you.

Putting them on a map makes it obvious where the main karst line is. It's also a great way to scout for new caves. I've written a full post on how to find new caves. If you like to learn how to do it yourself, I would definitely recommend that post.

More Info About the Region

Georgia is part of the TAG area, which stands for Tenessee, Alabama, Georgia. This is the region with the most caves in the US, so it's a great area for cavers. There are over 14,000 caves in this area (wow!), because of the rich karst sediments here. Hydrologists believe there has been a prehistoric sea here, which explains the amount of limestone and caves.

There's a lot to discover in this area, and Georgia has some of the most beautiful caves of the US.

More Info on Some of the Caves

Case Cave - Cloudland Canyon State Park, Walker County

It is safe to say that this is the kick off point for cavers. Cloudland Canyon State Park is heavy on great caves, and also hiking and canyoneering.

If you enjoy some rappelling at times, definitly consider visiting Case Cave. Apparently you start out by descending 30 feet into a sinkhole. After entering the cave, Case offers you an underground lake and about three miles of exploring. Looks good. Check out Cloudland Canyon State Park for more information.

Frick's Cave - Crockford Pigeon Mountain, Walker County

Frick's Cave is actually closed off to the general public to preserve endangered cave life. However, each year, the SCCI organizes a Member's Appreciation Open Day (link to SCCi site). If you get the chance to attend, this should be definitely worth it.

Frick's Cave is the richest biological cave in Georgia, inhabiting several endagered species of Gray Bats, Tennessee Salamanders, and many others. Impressive systems with very high ceilings and streams.

You could also request a permit for research or preserve access here.

Petty John's Cave - Crockford Pigeon Mountain, Walker County

Karst cave on the east side of Pigeon Mountain. It's a horizontal system, making it suitable for students and novice cavers. It's not a commercial cave, which means entrance is free of charge, but you're also responsible for proper preparation and equipment (if you're new to caving and want to know how to prepare for a caving trip, read my post here.

It's most challenging passage, the Worm Tube, is said to be a great squeeze...

Ellison's Cave - Crockford Pigeon Mountain, Walker County

Ellison's Cave in Walker County features the deepest pit in the US: Fantastic Pit. Ellison's Cave itself is, with 12 miles of length, the 12th deepest cave of the US. Pretty rad - be sure to bring a good headlamp though.

Byers Cave - Fox Mountain Preserve, Dade County

Byers Cave is supposed to be a great cave for adventurous cavers. Its long horizontal passages (up to 5 miles) are challenging enough, even for experienced cavers. If you find yourself in the area, or plan on going there, you should definitely visit this system.

Howard’s Waterfall Cave - Fox Mountain Preserve, Dade County

Nice and easy horizontal cave, which is very suitable for novice cavers.
More information on Howard's Waterfall: https://www.scci.org/preserves/howards-waterfall/

More Resources on These Caves

You can check for more resources on these caves at the SCCi's website. The SCCi (Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc.) owns and preserves large cave areas such as Frick's. For more information, please check out the following links:

If you want to participate in a caving trip, contact your local grotto:

What do you wear to a cave? For cave tours, you only need to a good basic outfit. It consists of multiple layers of thin clothing that are warm and lightweight and dry quickly. Polyester and neoprene fabrics are perfect. Wear a pair of rubber boots to be safe. For wild caves, you also need to wear a helmet with headlamp.

What do you need for spelunking? For spelunking, you need the right safety gear, clothes, and footwear. This is a helmet with suspension, a headlamp, a coverall, long-sleeve shirt with full-length pants from lightweight synthetic material, rubber rain boots, a first aid kit, water, food, and spare light sources.