Skyline Caverns

Skyline Caverns is the closest natural wonder to the DC metropolitan area and it’s home to one of the few places in the world with anthodite formations.

Our family of four made the drive from DC to Front Royal to check it out. We loved the caverns and yet our overall impression was that not much has probably changed since those early days.

Covered Here:

What to Expect
The Tour
Other Skyline Caverns Attractions
Tickets & Prices
Coupons, Discounts & Promos
Hours & When to Go
What to Bring
Gift Shop
Good to Know Before You Go
Where to Stay
Getting There
Things to Do Near Skyline Caverns

Skyline Caverns: What to Expect

As we approached the building that houses the tour lobby, we felt like we were entering a slightly stale, old-time lodge. To the left we found the ticket counter, and to the right, the “rock shop,” a kitschy gift shop.

The tour of the 60 million-year-old caverns covers 1.8 miles on gravelly or sandy terrain, which is often uneven and steep.

The passageways are very narrow at times, and one must watch out for a “cavern kick,” which is, as our knowledgeable and friendly guide explained, a bump on the head. A “cavern kiss,” on the other hand, is a drop of falling water and is considered good luck, according to our guide.

The Tour

The tour reaches a depth of 260 feet and includes many stops along the way. Our guide provided information about:

  • The caverns’ discovery
  • History
  • Formation theories
  • Structures
  • and more

She had plenty of corny jokes and guessing games for the group, and answered many questions throughout the tour.

skyline caverns
Source: Skyline Cavern

The tour passes three streams and offers a wishing well moment for those who wish to toss a coin. The money collected is donated annually to a local scholarship fund.

Other highlights include the two tour stops during which formations may be touched (all other formations are off-limits to touching) and the opportunity to see anthodites – extremely rare, 126,000 year-old calcite formations – in four stages of development.

RELATED: 35 Best Things to Do in Luray Virginia (Not Just Caverns)

Other Skyline Caverns Attractions

Besides the caverns there are some other fun attractions you may want to see while you’re there.

Mirror Maze

Enchanted Dragon Mirror Maze is open every day and closes one half hour prior to the last cavern tour.

Mini Train Ride

Located across the parking lot from the caverns, the 10-minute Skyline Arrow mini train runs spring through fall.

Nature Trail

Right outside the caverns is a beautiful nature trail and as you’re at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s a wonderful trail to explore.

skyline caverns map
Source: Skyline Caverns

Tickets & Prices

Caverns

Adult: $24 per person
Children(7-13 years old): $12 per person
Children (6 and under): FREE

Miniature Train

3 years and up: $6 per person
Children under 3 years: FREE

Mirror Maze

5 years and up: $6 per person
Children under 5: FREE

Coupon, Discounts & Promos

Skyline Caverns has a coupon available on their website which gives you $2 off all adult tickets and $1 off all child tickets in your party. You can access the coupon here and show it at the counter.

We haven’t found a Groupon for Skyline Caverns available at this time but you can always check here to see if that has changed.

Hours & When to Go

Monday – Sunday: 9:00am – 4:00pm

If you want to avoid big crowds, go during winter season when Skyline Cavern is least visited and make sure you wrap up as it could get a lot colder under during this time

What to Bring

There’s not much you will need to have a great time at Skyline Caverns! A few things to consider are:

  • A jacket
  • Coins for the wishing well on the tour
  • Camera
  • Snacks (unless you want to purchase on site)

Gift Shop

Their gift shop have a variety of exciting stuff both for kids and kids at heart.

skyline caverns gift shop
Source: Skyline Caverns

Good to Know Before You Go

  • The temperature in the caverns is 54 degrees year round, so a sweatshirt or light jacket is recommended.
  • There are 12 steps going down at the beginning of the tour and 61 stairs to climb up at the end of the tour.
  • The tour takes about 2 hours and you’ll walk about 1 1/4 miles
  • Vending machines (sodas and ice cream novelties) are available in the gift shop, and there are a few picnic tables outside on the property.
  • Strollers may be taken on the tour (but must be carried up and down the 61 steps) or left in the lobby area. A baby carrier would probably work much better given the sometimes uneven and steep path and the often narrow passageways.
  • The women’s restroom provides a cabinet which could substitute for a changing table in a pinch. The men’s restroom does not offer a changing table.

Where to Stay Near Skyline Caverns

Find a good deal on a hotel near Skyline Caverns.

Booking.com

Getting There

Address: 10344 Stonewall Jackson Hwy. Front Royal, VA 22630

Things to Do Near Skyline Caverns

  1. Visit the beautiful Shenandoah National Park
  2. Play at the wooden Fantasyland Playground
  3. Pose in front of the Love sign in Front Royal
  4. Travel through the 8-foot tall maze made out of hedges at The Garden Maze at Luray Caverns
  5. Zipline at Bear Mountain Ziplines
  6. See some more caverns at Luray Caverns
  7. The Rope Adventure Course at Luray Caverns
  8. Camp and stay at Big Meadows Campground

Overall, we felt the caverns and tour were interesting but on the expensive side. One member of our group did not like the use of colored lights, feeling that they were an unnatural distraction from the natural beauty.

Photo of author

OK Editorial Team

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