Entrance to the Luray Caverns Attractions
My wife and I visited Luray Caverns in the spring of 1997. It was about 20 minutes just after we exited SKYLINE drive at the Thornton Gap of the Shenandoah National Park near Highway 211 of Virginia. This was our first tour of a commercial cave in the US. LURAY Caverns is not as popular as the Carlsbad Caverns of New Mexico or the Mammoth Caves of Kentucky, but it was a visit we will never forget.
Luray Caverns, originally called Luray Cave, is a large, celebrated commercial cave just west of Luray, Virginia, USA, which has drawn many visitors since its discovery in 1878. The underground cavern system is generously adorned with speleothems (columns, mud flows, stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, mirrored pools, etc.). The caverns are perhaps best known for the Great Stalacpipe Organ, a lithophone made from solenoid fired strikers that tap stalactites of various sizes to produce tones similar to those of xylophones, tuning forks, or bells.
Here's a short write-up and video about the caves from the Luray Caverns management and website: Since discovery in 1878 by a tinsmith and a local photographer, visitors by the millions have made Luray Caverns the most popular cave in Eastern America and an internationally acclaimed destination.
Four million centuries in the making beneath Virginia’s storied Shenandoah Valley, this “must see” U.S. Natural Landmark awaits your discovery. One hour tours, from well-lighted, paved walkways lead visitors through cathedral-sized rooms with ceilings 10 stories high. Enormous chambers are filled with towering columns, shimmering draperies and crystal-clear pools.
Also in this subterranean wonderland, “Hear Rocks Sing” as you experience the haunting sounds of the world’s largest musical instrument, The Great Stalacpipe Organ. Completely unique are the beautiful tones created by this one-of-a-kind instrument, which makes music of concert quality from the surrounding stalactite formations covering more than three acres.
Luray Caverns, for more than 130 years, has been renowned as one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. A world of magic and majesty, still as marvelously beautiful as described in the newspaper headlines over a century ago.
This was our first cave visit in the US. It was mesmerizing and a humbling experience to see this spectacular natural wonders of Virginia.
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