Crystal Grottoes Caverns – Boonsboro, Maryland - Atlas Obscura

This small show cave is the only cave with public access in the state of Maryland. There are no colored lights and no statuary. The cavern has more formations per square foot than any cave known to man. And at 54 degrees year-round, it’s the most naturally kept caverns in the world.

In 2007, the cave was badly damaged by a fire in the building above the entrance. The fire, along with the water used to douse the flames, damaged the electrical system. The cave was then powered by a small generator that couldn’t illuminate the whole space, making exploring its caverns a dim, somewhat spooky subterranean experience.

Fortunately, the site has been nicely made over since 2007 and bears no fire damage. The cave is full of beautiful drape-like stalactites and thick columns. The lighting inside the caverns is well done, with the guides switching lighting schemes on and off as you pass through the galleries in an attempt to save energy.

A tour of the caves takes about 30 minutes and costs $20 per adult. There are some passages that are relatively low, about four feet high, as well as a few narrow/twisting passages, so the tall and the wide need to pay attention and move slowly and carefully.

There is ample parking, and the twin bathrooms are particularly nice and well-kept. Unfortunately, there are no provisions for those with mobility challenges.

Know Before You Go

Located 1.5 miles outside of Boonsboro, MD, on State Route 34 in Washington County. Six miles from Antietam Battlefield and 18 miles from Harper's Ferry. It is right off the road and very easy to see (on your left) if you are driving west, but the bluff which forms the cavern essentially blocks the entrace if you're driving east, into Boonsboro.

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