Monday, August 27, 2007


Skyline Caverns - Virginia

Skyline Caverns is located just South out of Front Royal, near the beginning of Skyline Drive in Virginia. Caverns are not rare in the Blue Ridge area, and Skyline's claim to fame is it has the only known collection of a substance called Anthrotite. The stuff, pictured below, is a crystalline growth discovered in Skyline when a group was removing mud to open the cave to visitors. They hit a vacuum in the cave and heard a giant whoosh as air rushed in. Inside the area they discovered the crystalline growths on the ceiling. They are quite brittle and fragile. Some have grown to 18 inches, though they stopped growing when the vacuum was broken.
Lighting used in caves is to both illuminate & highlight features. Here colored lights are used to highlight some Skyline formations.
The folks who opened the cave also brought in some trout and catfish which have adapted to life in the cave. Here is a trout of about 15-18 inches. They come when the guide stirs the water with his hand as they are fed by the guides. The tour is not too long, and for the most part fairly comfortable except for a few spots where the height is less than six feet.

Consider a visit on your next trip. A REMINDER: ALL caves are cooler than outside. Temps in the high 50s are the norm, and you should bring a jacket or sweatshirt for the trip...even when the outside temp is 90 or above!


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