Cave of the Mounds – Blue Mounds, Wisconsin - Atlas Obscura

Cave of the Mounds

Blue Mounds, Wisconsin

This cave holds a surprisingly colorful variety of geological oddities. 


Stalactites and stalagmites are the most banal of the incredible variety of mineral formations in the Cave of the Mounds. 

Known as the “Jewel Box of Major American Caves” thanks to the cornucopia of colorful rock formations sprouting from its walls, the cave houses an impressive array of unique formations. The cave was first discovered by limestone miners who accidentally blasted their way into the rocky void. Once the chamber was found, the mining immediately stopped thanks to the instantly arresting stone forms. From bent stalactites known as helictites, to smooth limestone flowstones, to delicate hollow mineral tubes known as “soda straws,” the Cave of the Mounds covers all types of geological forms. Thanks to the variety of minerals in the stones, these formations also take on a rainbow of reds, browns, and blues.  

The Cave of the Mounds is now a popular tourist attraction with a concrete walkway and dramatic lighting to bring the surprising beauty of geology to life. 

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