Cave / Karst Systems
Hidden within the Grand Canyon are an estimated 1,000 caves. Of those, 335 have been recorded. Very few have been mapped or inventoried. Most have developed in the limestone of the Redwall and Muav formations, although some are known to exist in other formations. Some caves are well known and, over the years, have been frequented often by visitors, such as the Cave of the Domes on Horseshoe Mesa.
Cave resources include unique cave formations or "speleothems," mummified remains of extinct Ice Age fauna, archeological remains (including split-twig figurines), and unique biological systems. Many caves also play a major role in regional hydrology, as evidenced by incredible waterfalls and substantial streams emerging from places like Vaseys Paradise, Cheyava Falls, and Roaring, Thunder, and Tapeats springs.
Under the current park policy, All caves (with the exception of the Cave of the Domes on Horseshoe Mesa) are currently closed to visitation, except for research purposes. Please contact Steven Rice, Grand Canyon NP Hydrologist, for additional information (928) 638-7481.
Did You Know?
For more than 30 years Grand Canyon National Park has provided a free shuttle bus
system on the South Rim. Visitors and
residents have made 75,000,000 boardings.
Riding the shuttles makes your stay more enjoyable, while reducing pollution and
decreasing traffic congestion. More...