10334 Stonewall Jackson Highway, Front Royal, VA, USA
www.skylinecaverns.com - (540) 635-4545
Skyline Caverns Front Royal Reviews
Skyline Caverns Dec 13, 2015
Skyline Caverns sit just south of the entrance to Shenandoah National Park in Front Royal. When the National Park Service was cobbling together the land to form the park in the 1930s, an enterprising geologist suspected there were hidden cave systems nearby. He came across a sinkhole that was not filled with water. Realizing the water had to drain somewhere, he started digging and discovered the underground caverns. Within a year he had bought the land and opened them up to the public, naming them after Skyline Drive that runs across the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains inside the neighboring park.
These caves are not as opulent nor as crowded as the more famous Luray Caverns further down the road, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The passageways are smaller and require more head ducking compared to Luray. Some of the cavern ceilings are covered in anthodites, rare crystalline formations that look like sea urchins stuck to the rock. They take thousands of years to grow under unique geologic circumstances, which of course were interrupted when the caverns were opened up in the 1930s. Anyways they are quite fragile and beautiful and my photographs don’t do them justice.
Like any of these commercial cave systems, there is an element of cheesiness to the place. There is the huge gift shop and the hall of mirrors which I skipped and the outdoor train ride for children now closed for the season. The building is a bit dilapidated with a strong odor of cigarette smoke and the bathrooms are best avoided. It costs $20 for an adult to get in, pricey but comparable to what other caverns charge in Virginia. They are open every day of the year. I was the only person about when I stopped by and enjoyed a private, hour-long tour from a friendly and knowledgeable guide. If you are visiting Shenandoah National Park and enjoy touristy underground tours, you might want to pay a visit.
8 / 8 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!