Caving can be very dangerous, so it is important to have proper technique along with good equipment. Caving with other people is also helpful in staying safe. Consider connecting with an area grotto to find experienced individuals to learn from before exploring.
Pigeon Mountain Grotto
Pigeon Mountain Grotto meets on the first Friday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Generally the meeting is held at the Rock Spring branch of the Bank of Lafayette on the 2nd floor, but occasionally moves locations to fit the needs of the group.
There is a Facebook group that is private, but access can be requested. The direct contact option is through email
Dogwood City Grotto
Dogwood City Grotto helps train inexperienced cavers and provides a group for those passionate about caving.
Based out of Atlanta, Dogwood City Grotto is dedicated to clean, safe and sustainable caving. They are part of the National Speleological Society. The Grotto accepts new members and invites all cavers to get involved!
Dogwood City Grotto
PO Box 417
Decatur, GA 30031
Dogwood City Grotto Website
Pettyjohn’s cave is located on the east side of Pigeon Mountain. It contains 6.5 miles of underground trails within Pigeon Mountain and has been measured at a length of 31,490 feet long.
The cave reaches a depth of 235 feet and contains many rooms, including the Echo Room. To get to the Echo Room, one must crawl through the Worm Tube, a 150 foot passageway that forces cavers to crawl on their hands and knees. The Worm Tube is one of the most popular features of the cave.
The Bridge Room is another area of interest in Pettyjohn’s Cave. The Bridge Room allows visitors to hang their feet over an edge and listen to the stream over 80 feet below. Pettyjohn’s cave is an exciting opportunity for recreation in Walker County.
34° 39′ 53.74″ N, 85° 21′ 49.4″ W
WARNING: THIS CAVE IS NOT FOR BEGINNERS. ONLY EXPERIENCED CAVERS SHOULD ATTEMPT!
Home to the Fantastic Pit, the deepest unobstructed underground pit in the United States at 586 feet, Ellison’s Cave is one of the most popular caving locations in the country. The cave is 12 miles long and 1,063 feet deep. It is the 12th deepest cave in the country.
Another popular attraction in Ellison’s Cave is the Incredible Pit, which is 440 feet deep. Ellison’s Cave has several more challenging pits of, including Smokey I and Smokey II, along with shallow pits like the Warm Up Pit.
Frick’s Cave is a preserved and protected site, owned by the Southeastern Cave Conservancy. Roughly 10,000 endangered gray bats make their summer home here. The cave is open once a year in the winter when the bats are gone, to allow SCCi members and their guest entry into this site.
In September, SCCi hosts the Bats, Beer & Bluegrass event at Frick’s Cave to raise funds. The event is notable for being able to see the bats leave the cave at dusk.
Explore a few caves without leaving the house. Check out this video!