Deepest Caves to Explore in North America

Deepest Caves to Explore in North America
Caving appeals to the intrepid explorer seeking adventure in the unknown. Rock formations inside caves can be stunning, unlike anything seen above ground. Some caves, such as Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and Mammoth in Kentucky, are national parks and permit visitors into some of the big rooms; others require permission from the U.S. Forest Service or other landowner to access. The deepest caves in North America are in Mexico; nothing in the U.S. or Canada rivals them.


Cheve Cave in Mexico is the deepest cave in the Americas, at a measured depth of 4,869 feet (1,484 meters), and is the eleventh deepest cave in the world. Some who have explored Cheve feel it may actually be the deepest cave in the world, and hope to push the depth.

Right behind Cheve on the list of deepest caves in the world is the Sistema Huautla, at a depth of 4,839 feet (1,475 meters). Cueva Charco in Mexico is the twenty-sixth deepest cave in the world (third in North America) at 4,193 feet (1,278 meters). Mexico has many other caves in the top 100 as well, including Sotano Akemati, Kihaje Xontjoa and Ozto J2.



Canada's top three deepest caves can all be found in British Columbia. The deepest is Arctomys Cave, with a measured depth of 1,758 feet (536 meters). Second is Heavy Breather, with a depth of 1,640 feet (500 meters). Third on the list is the Close To The Edge cave, at 1,548 feet (472 meters).

United States

The deepest cave in the U.S. is in Hawaii. A lava tube formed by the Hawaii volcanoes, the cave is called Kazumura Cave and is 3,614 feet deep (1101.5 meters). The deepest cave in the continental U.S. is Lechuguilla Cave, which is part of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico; its depth is 1,604 feet (489 meters).


Article Written By Candace Horgan

Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.

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