Lost River Caverns near Allentown is a beautiful limestone “show cave”, owned and operated as such by the same family since 1930!
The caverns get their name from the Lost River, a crystal-clear stream that passes through the cave as part of an entirely underground river system (the water is never exposed to the surface of the Earth).
Touring Lost River Caverns
Tours of Lost River Caverns take approximately 45 minutes and cover about a quarter-mile of underground passageways.
Tours begin and end at the Visitor Center, which itself houses numerous historical and geological artifacts.
You’ll also find a well-stocked gift shop on the lower level of the Visitor Center, complete with all the jewelry, gemstones, and assorted Lost River Caverns souvenirs you’d expect to find at a show cave.
Eight steps and several ramps make up the 1,200-foot path through the caverns, where a tour guide explains what you are looking at along the way.
For me, the highlight of the tour is the beautiful Crystal Chapel, the site of more than 100 wedding ceremonies between 1949 and 2009.
During the late 1800’s a wooden dance floor was constructed in the Crystal Chapel, where festivities could take advantage of the natural air conditioning in the cave.
During the Prohibition era of the 1920s, bootleggers used the caverns to store their illegal alcohol.
The crystalline rock formations within Lost River Cavern are still growing even today, although VERY slowly (less than 10 cm every 1,000 years!).
The tour concludes where it began, on the lower level of the Visitor Center, under the watchful eyes of Sweetums the dinosaur.
Other Attractions at Lost River Caverns
Outside the Visitor Center you’ll find a gem-panning area, similar to most other show caves in Pennsylvania.
There’s also a short Nature Trail to check out, through the woods above the caverns.
And don’t miss the kitschy “cave family” photo-op next to the parking area.
Directions to Lost River Caverns
Lost River Caverns is located just east of Allentown, at 726 Durham Street, Hellertown, PA 18055.
Tours run year-round (except on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day) – check the Lost River Caverns OFFICIAL WEBSITE for the most up-to-date hours and ticket prices.
Crystal Cave in Berks County was the first “show cave” to open in Pennsylvania, with official tours beginning shortly after it was discovered in 1871!
Indian Echo Caverns is a beautiful “show cave” located 3 miles west of Hershey in Dauphin County.
Woodward Cave in Centre County contains 5 large rooms, hundreds of yards of tunnels and passageways, and the largest stalagmite in Pennsylvania!
Penn’s Cave in Centre County offers the only cavern tour in the United States that is conducted completely by boat!
Lincoln Caverns gives visitors the opportunity to explore an incredibly beautiful world far below the surface of Huntingdon County!
Coral Caverns in Bedford County is home to a 420-million year old fossilized coral reef!
Laurel Caverns is billed as “Pennsylvania’s Largest Cave”, and is a great way to spend an hour or two beneath Fayette County.
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