Shenandoah Caverns, Part 1
Caverns have always held somewhat of a fascination for me. While I don’t like the idea of crawling around on my belly in total darkness, I do find “civilized” caverns interesting. Shenandoah Caverns is one of these “civilized” caverns. In fact, it’s quite well developed with lighting and an elevator.
As with all caverns, a tour guide takes you through the caverns and points out the various formations and features. My tour guide was most knowledgeable and helpful in making the cavern tour a memorable experience.
Shenandoah Caverns is located in Virginia on I-81 at exit 269 and is definitely worth a visit.
[Photographs at end]
The tour takes about an hour, perhaps a bit longer; the tour guide estimated a total walk of about ¾ mile. You ride an elevator down to the cavern 250 feet underground, then walk the rest of the tour on a smooth, fairly level path. The lighting is excellent, and bright enough to take good photographs. It’s difficult to tell whether to use flash or not; sometimes it’s better to turn off the lights and just use flash; sometimes ambient light works best. My tour guide was most helpful and cooperative as I tried to get the best lighting for photographs of the many formations.
The caverns are famous for their “bacon strips” formations. These are stalactites that look like strips of bacon.
There are many extraordinary formations and grand rooms with soaring ceilings studded with stalactites and floors decorated with stalagmites. Some photographs follow: