Going Into This Cave In Montana Is Like Entering Another World
Montana’s natural beauty knows no bounds. Along with the bragworthy national parks, vast mountain ranges, lakes and rivers, Big Sky Country is home to some amazing geographical finds. There are over 300 known caves and caverns in Montana, but this one, Lewis & Clark Caverns, is the only one offering guided tours. That’s probably a good thing, because without a guide, you might feel like you’ve entered another universe.
As the largest known limestone caverns in the Northwest, this state park gets a lot of visitors. The caverns were familiar to Native Americans long before their discovery by Charles Brooke and Mexican John of Whitehall.
Dan A. Morrison was the first to develop the cave for tours, sometime around the year 1900. He named it Limespur Cave, but the name was changed to Lewis and Clark Caverns in 1908. Lewis and Clark never visited the caverns (that we know of), but they did pass through the area.
Currently, tours are available from May 1 to September 30. There are also visitor centers and evening program during the summer months. The park itself is open year-round.
Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park is located in Caldwell, which is in Jefferson County. It was the first state park in Montana.
There used to be thousands of big-eared bats inside the cave, but now there are only around 100 females (there are male bats in the caves nearby). Don’t be alarmed by their presence...the bats eat thousands of bugs every day.
You can expect to spend about two hours hiking the two mile guided tour. The cave is naturally air conditioned and full of strategically placed lights to give you the best views.
You’ll see plenty of unique mineral formations including stalactites, stalagmites, columns and helictites, all of which date back through time.
Aside from the amazing cave, you’ll find 10 miles of hiking trails, a campground, camping cabins and picnic sites at the park.
But this is probably where you’ll want to spend the most time.
If you’ve never been here, add Lewis & Clark Caverns to your list of Montana must-dos!
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