Exploring Tytoona Cave in Blair County

Exploring Tytoona Cave in Blair County Pennsylvania.

Tytoona Cave is located in Sinking Valley, Blair County, between the cities of Tyrone and Altoona (thus the cave’s name).

Approaching Tytoona Cave.
Entrance to Tytoona Cave in Sinking Valley.

Tytoona Cave is owned by the National Speleological Society (NSS), based in Huntsville, Alabama.

Tytoona Cave Nature Preserve is owned by the National Speleological Society in Huntsville, Alabama.
Tytoona Cave Nature Preserve is owned by the National Speleological Society in Huntsville, Alabama.

The cave and the surrounding 6.8 acres of property is managed as a Nature Preserve, open to visitors from 6AM to 9PM.

Tytoona Cave is off-limits between 9 pm and 6 am.
Tytoona Cave is off-limits between 9 pm and 6 am.

According to the NSS, “The first 1,000 feet of the cave are easily accessible by novices and is an excellent location to educate visitors about the cave’s geology and hydrology”.

Peering into Tytoona Cave from the entrance.
Peering into Tytoona Cave from the entrance.

Sinking Run flows through the cave, rising back to the surface over a mile away at Arch Spring (on private property, but readily visible from Kettle Road).

Arch Spring rock formation as viewed from Kettle Road in Blair County PA.
Arch Spring rock formation as viewed from Kettle Road – where Sinking Run reemerges from the underground cave system.

Historical records of the cave date back to 1788, and it was noted on county maps from the early 1800s.

A summer afternoon at Tytoona Cave near Tyrone Pennsylvania.
A summer afternoon at the cave entrance.

How to Find Tytoona Cave

Tytoona Cave is easy to find, as it’s marked on Google Maps and shows up on most vehicle GPS navigation systems.

How to find Tytoona Cave in Blair County Pennsylvania
Map to Tytoona Cave, courtesy Google Maps.

Parking is at a pull-off along the berm of Morrow Road, at GPS coordinates 40.602166, -78.217494.

Parking for Tytoona Cave along Morrow Road.
Parking for Tytoona Cave along Morrow Road.

The entrance to the Nature Preserve is well marked and visible from the road.

Tytoona Natural Area sign near Morrow Road in Blair County Pennsylvania.
Tytoona Natural Area sign near Morrow Road.

At the entrance kiosk you’ll find some rules and regulations, as well as pamphlets on Tytoona Cave, the NSS, and bats.

Tytoona Cave and the surrounding 6.8 acres of property is managed as a Nature Preserve, open to visitors from 6AM to 9PM.
Tytoona Cave and the surrounding 6.8 acres of property is managed as a Nature Preserve, open to visitors from 6AM to 9PM.

Just beyond the kiosk, a set of wooden stairs leads to the bottom of the sinkhole and the cave entrance.

A set of wooden stairs leads to the bottom of the sinkhole and the Tytoona Cave entrance.
A set of wooden stairs leads to the bottom of the sinkhole and the Tytoona Cave entrance.

Exploring Tytoona Cave

Tytoona Cave is open to responsible caving all year, according to the NSS website.

Explorers entering Tytoona Cave near Tyrone Pennsylvania.
Explorers entering Tytoona Cave.

On a typical summer afternoon you can expect to find young and old alike enjoying the scenery at the cave and nature preserve.

Tytoona Cave is an "explore at your own risk" destination.
Young and old alike enjoy the scenery at the Tytoona Cave.

If you’re visiting in the winter, I HIGHLY recommend microspikes or crampons to get down to stream level, and as always, EXPLORE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Steps leading from Morrow Road down to Tytoona Cave entrance.
Steps leading from Morrow Road down to the cave entrance.

The cave entrance, located in a massive bed of Trenton limestone, measures about 40 feet across and 12 feet high.

Entrance to Tytoona Cave along Morrow Road in Blair County.
Entrance to Tytoona Cave along Morrow Road.

The first 1,000 feet of Tytoona Cave is essentially a horizontal walking passage, but going any further requires diving equipmentdo not attempt this without permission of the NSS!

Historical records of the cave date back to 1788, and it was noted on county maps from the early 1800s.
The first 1,000 feet of Tytoona Cave is essentially a horizontal walking passage.

Not wanting to disturb any bats that may hibernate in the cave, I venture no further than just inside the entrance when visiting in the winter.

Ice formations at Tytoona Cave near Tyrone Pennsylvania.
Ice formations on the cave floor.

But even that makes the trip to the cave worthwhile, as there are indeed some unique ice formations to be found.

Ice formations inside Tytoona Cave near Tyrone Pennsylvania.
Ice formations inside the cave entrance.

Tytoona Cave is certainly one of the more interesting natural attractions in Blair County, and well worth a visit if you’re passing through central PA!

Tytoona Cave is a unique natural attraction in Blair County Pennsylvania.
Tytoona Cave is one of the many natural attractions in Blair County.

Lincoln Caverns gives visitors the opportunity to explore an incredibly beautiful world far below the surface of neighboring Huntingdon County!

Whisper Rocks Cavern in Huntingdon COunty PA.
Whisper Rocks at Lincoln Caverns in Huntingdon County.

Coral Caverns in Bedford County is home to a 420-million year old fossilized coral reef!

Visiting Coral Caverns in Bedford County Pennsylvania.
Inside Coral Caverns “show cave” in Manns Choice, PA.

Laurel Caverns is billed as “Pennsylvania’s Largest Cave”, and is a great way to spend an hour or two BENEATH the Laurel Highlands!

The overhead Grand Canyon of Laurel Caverns.
The overhead Grand Canyon of Laurel Caverns.

Penn’s Cave in Centre County offers the only cavern tour in the United States that is conducted completely by boat!

Some of the flat-bottom boats used to give tours of Penn's Cave.
Some of the flat-bottom boats used to give tours.

Woodward Cave in Centre County contains 5 large rooms, hundreds of yards of tunnels and passageways, and the largest stalagmite in Pennsylvania!

Exploring Woodward Cave in Centre County PA
Woodward Cave is home to the largest stalagmite in Pennsylvania.

Nearby Attractions

Fort Roberdeau was originally erected by General Daniel Roberdeau to protect local lead mining activities from British loyalists and their Native Americans allies during the Revolutionary War.

Exploring Fort Roberdeau in Blair County Pennsylvania.
Historical reenactors at Fort Roberdeau.

Canoe Creek State Park is a 911 acre recreational area 12 miles east of Altoona in Blair County.

One of the many boat launches at Canoe Creek State Park in Blair County Pennsylvania.
One of the many boat launches at Canoe Creek State Park.

Chimney Rocks Park near Hollidaysburg is home to 3 impressive scenic overlooks in a beautiful borough park setting.

Autumn in Blair County at Chimney Rocks.
Autumn in Blair County at Chimney Rocks.

The Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum in Blair County celebrates the lives of both railroad workers and railroading communities in central Pennsylvania.

Exterior of the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum in Blair County Pennsylvania.
The Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum.

A must-see for any railfan, the Horseshoe Curve was once regarded as one of the “engineering wonders of the world”!

Westbound train passing through the viewing area at the Horseshoe Curve.
Westbound train passing through the viewing area at the Horseshoe Curve.

12 Must-See Attractions in Blair County is your guide to even more great things to see and do near Tytoona Cave!

Some of the rides for older kids and adults at DelGrosso's Amusement Park in Blair County Pennsylvania.
Two of the many rides for older kids and adults at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park in Blair County.

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Rusty Glessner is a professional photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.