Overview

What is Wild Caving?

Caving is an outdoor activity that involves exploring underground and undeveloped passages. West Virginia has over 5,000 caves because of the pervasiveness of limestone and groundwater. SHOW-caves have gift shops, sidewalks, and lots of electrical wiring. WILD-caves have none of that – you are seeing it the way it naturally formed, and exploring the cave on its terms. Wild caving is partnership between NROCKS and WILDGUYde Adventures.

What can I expect on a caving trip?

Our caving trips are half-day. At the meetup in Franklin WV, everyone will be given a helmet, a headlamp, and a whistle. A Beginner trip is mostly horizontal movement in the cave (walking, stooping, and crawling). An Intermediate trip introduces some elementary vertical terrain. On all caving trips, we teach about simple geology and cave formation, underground navigation, and basic caving safety. You can expect some awesome looks at underground canyons, some “total body hiking,” squeezes and crawls, and lots of fun and learning!

Details & Safety

Is caving safe?

Caves can be hazardous environments due to slippery rock, underground water, precipitous slopes and drops, and total darkness. Being physically capable and properly equipped is important in reducing hazards. Your guide will assess the group and create an appropriately challenging and fun experience. Being properly prepared, honest with oneself about physical capabilities, and attentive to guide directions are important measures to help create a safer experience.

What makes caving with NROCKS unique?

The guides provided for caving tours have been leading underground trips into area caves for over a decade. They have a Wilderness First Aid/Responder certification, and are trained by the National Cave Rescue Commission. We take great pride in our customer service and hold our guides to the highest standards of professionalism and risk-management.

FAQ

How many guides will my group have?

Expect one guide for your trip, and usually no more than 15 guests.

How should I dress, and what should I bring to enjoy my day of caving?

Dress in layers, with a long pants and long sleeves outer layer that you do not mind getting extremely dirty. This could be a sweatshirt and sweat pants, scrubs, or coveralls. In general, wear comfy, loose-fitting clothing that does not restrict your movement. An inner layer underneath that preserves modesty when the outer layer is stripped off at the end is advisable, since there is nowhere to change at the cave. Caves in WV are roughly 52 degrees year-round, so wearing overwarm clothing is not necessary. Wearing only shorts and short-sleeved shirts is not recommended because of the mud and scraping.
Choose closed-toed shoes, boots, or old sneakers/running shoes that you do not mind getting extremely dirty. Do not wear sandals, Crocs, flippies, or dress shoes. A change of footwear for afterwards will keep your vehicle clean!

Eat a good breakfast so you have some calories on board! Bring the waiver, water, snacks for later, a camera with a flash, and a plastic trash bag for muddy clothes afterwards. The Guide will provide each person with a helmet, headlamp, cave pack, and whistle.

Can I bring my own gear / Can I get a discount for bringing my own gear?

If you bring a GoPro, it should have a headband on it; you can mount it on your helmet. Unfortunately we cannot allow you to use your own helmet. We appreciate and understand the desire and preference of using your own gear if you have it, but in order to comply with our insurance policy, we require everyone who comes to NROCKS to use the gear that is supplied by staff.

Policies & Specs

Activity Duration
2 – 4 hours
Difficulty Level
Beginner friendly

Caving involves using your legs and arms to navigate tight-spaces underground so participants should be in reasonably good health and have the ability to exert high levels of energy.

Participants will be expected to comfortably hike ½ mile to and from the activity location, and should be able to spend 2-4 hours underground.

While the caving trips are considered beginner-friendly, we do not recommend this tour for people with a history of debilitating claustrophobia, or with excessive overweightedness or low fitness. Additional limitations would be debilitating back or shoulder issues that prohibit full range of movement or weight-bearing.

What to Wear
Dress in layers so you can make adjustments as you warm up and cool down. In general wear comfy, loose-fitting clothing that does not restrict your movement. Short shorts are not recommended and many climbers prefer to wear pants or capris to keep their knees covered.
What to Wear
Dress in layers, with a long pants and long sleeves outer layer that you do not mind getting extremely dirty. This could be a sweatshirt and sweat pants, scrubs, or coveralls. In general, wear comfy, loose-fitting clothing that does not restrict your movement. An inner layer underneath that preserves modesty when the outer layer is stripped off at the end is advisable, since there is nowhere to change at the cave. Caves is WV are roughly 52 degrees year-round, so wearing overwarm clothing is not necessary. Wearing only shorts and short-sleeved shirts is not recommended because of the mud and scraping.
Footwear
Choose closed-toed shoes, boots, or old sneakers/running shoes that you do not mind getting extremely dirty. Do not wear sandals, Crocs, flippies, or dress shoes. A change of footwear for afterwards will keep your vehicle clean!
Bring With You
Eat a good breakfast before coming, so you have some calories on board!Bring the waiver, water, snacks for later, camera with a flash, and a plastic trash bag for muddy clothing afterwards.

The Guide will provide headlamps, helmets, cave packs, and whistles, and all technical gear.

Minimum Age
6 for a Beginner trip, and 10 for an Intermediate.
Physical Requirement
No weight requirement, but it can be necessary to squeeze through small spaces. Participants on Intermediate trips should be reasonably fit and active (work out regularly).Physical limitations would be debilitating claustrophobia, excessive overweightedness or low fitness, debilitating back or shoulder issues that prohibit full range of movement or weight-bearing.
Group Size
Groups will generally have one guide and not more than 15 guests
Meetup and Late Policy
Morning caving trips meet up at the Franklin BP station (at the ONLY traffic light in town) at 9 AM. Afternoon trips meet at 1 PM. Turn right out of NROCKS driveway, and then right (east) on Rt. 33, and follow it all the way to Franklin.Please plan to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled arrival time. If you are late, your trip will not be extended, but will end at the regularly scheduled time. Leaving NROCKS no later than 8:30 AM or 12:30 PM should get you there on time.
Price
$125 for a group of up to 3, and then $25 for each additional after that. If your group is 10 or more, we drop the $125 starter rate and simply charge the $25 per person.

Book a Trip Today!

Wild Caving is offered through partnership between NROCKS and WILDGUYde Adventures and must be reserved in advance by phone.

Call (877) 435-4842 to reserve your date!

Information Packet and Waivers

If filling out paperwork isn’t your idea of time well spent, download and complete a waiver today! Bring it to NROCKS with you so you can minimize your time checking in, and maximize your fun on an outdoor adventure!