Colorado’s Longest Cave is Also One of the Largest in the Country
Colorado is home to some pretty impressive cave systems. Did you know Colorado is home to about 600 caves in all? Some are meant for beginners while others are elaborate labyrinths of tunnels that burrow deep into the earth.
Did you know the longest cave in Colorado is not far from Grand Junction? Discovered in 1968, Colorado's Groaning Cave is a gigantic system that stretches out for miles under the earth and is still being surveyed even today.
The Groaning Cave is Colorado's Largest
At almost 15 miles of surveyed tunnels, the Groaning Cave is the largest/longest one in the state of Colorado. Since this cave is still being surveyed it may be that this system is even longer and larger than first thought. Groaning Cave is filled with domes, caverns, and several tight squeezes that require you to crawl. Scroll on to see photos from inside the cave.
Where is Groaning Cave?
Groaning Cave is inside the White River National Forest in Garfield County. The cave itself is known as a documented bat hibernaculum and swarming site so may encounter bats sleeping in the cave. Permits are only given out to explore Groaning Cave from mid-April to Mid-August. The road to the cave is not maintained and is usually only passable after Memorial Day.
How Can I Get A Permit to Visit Groaning Cave?
As you might imagine, exploring the longest cave in Colorado is not for beginners. Getting into the cave requires some work. You'll need a permit from the White River National Forest, then liability waivers from the Colorado Cave Survey of the National Speleological Society. The biggest challenge is navigating the cave so expect to answer several questions about your experience when applying for a permit. Once the paperwork is set you'll be given the combination lock to the gate and the entrance of the cave and you can go in.