Located at the southern gateway to western NC’s High Country region, Linville Caverns is an ideal destination for visitors of all ages. The beauty of our mountains is echoed within Humpback Mountain and visitors are invited to explore the splendor and wonders nature created “inside a mountain”.
For centuries, the marvels of Linville Caverns were unknown to man. In the early 1800’s a fishing expedition headed by Henry E. Colton, of eastern NC, were astounded to see fish swimming in and out of what appeared to be rather solid rock. A small opening in the mountainous terrain allowed them to enter the subterranean recess that is still home to native trout in an underground stream. Colton, who later served as the state geologist of Tennessee, wrote of his exploration in an 1858 issue of NC Presbyterian, “…now began the wondrous splendors of the hidden world…we emerged into an immense passage, whose roof was far beyond the reach of the glare of our torches, except where the fantastic festoons of stalactites hang down within our touch. It looked like the arch of some grand old cathedral, yet it was too sublime, too perfect in all its beautiful proportions, to be anything of human, but a model which man might attempt to imitate. It was not a large, gross cavern,…pendants were of a delicate lightness, and a most beautiful hue…”
Linville Caverns was opened for public touring in 1937. Since that time many upgrades to the pathways and lighting system have enhanced the safe touring experience that now exists. Courteous and experienced guides take you into the subterranean world, giving you the history of the caverns and allowing you to view the grand work of nature. We invite you to visit often and experience the beauty of these age-old mountains from the inside!
***** Please note that the recent closing of caves by the US Fish & Wildlife Service
DOES NOT APPLY to Linville Caverns or other commercial caverns. Undeveloped
caves, frequented by cavers, are closed to prevent the spread of White Nose
Syndrome among bat colonies. The small number of bats that hibernate in Linville
Caverns are not infected & are monitored on a daily basis. We do communicate
regularly with USFWS & understand and support their recommendations.
Linville Caverns IS open for business as usual & we look forward to your visit!