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“Organ Cave Extended Expedition (Gypsum Passage)”
Review of Organ Cave

Organ Cave
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Attraction details
Owner description: Discovered in 1704, Organ Cave is the second longest cave on the east coast, with over 40 miles of passageways.
Reviewed November 24, 2012

I took an 8 year old boy on his first caving adventure on the Gypsum Passage expedition. I was a little concerned because caving can be dangerous, but our guide, Janie, was excellent. She was very attentive to his needs and paid close attention at the potentially scary parts. There were no problems.

The expedition itself was pretty low key. It's mostly flat with a large overhead ceiling. There isn't a lot of crawling nor is it very strenuous if you are reasonably fit. There are 3 potential difficult spots. The "birth canal" is about a 6 foot belly crawl that slants upward that might freak you out if you are claustrophobic. There is a ledge to cross coming in that has a steep fall that could get the best of your nerves. There is also a drop of about 12 feet that is a little technical, but if you take your time, you'll be fine. None of it is difficult with the right footwear, but fatigue or fear could get the best of you.

I didn't give it 5 stars because the equipment is old, worn, and not the highest quality, but it's good enough to get through. The scenery is lovely. You'll learn a lot and have a good time. It's definitely worth a look.

2  Thank jez09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 - 43 of 58 reviews

Reviewed November 20, 2012

This is a good experience, not only educational, but also fun and can be scary. Be sure to dress warmly, it is cold. and wear rubber sole shoes for comfort and to avoid slipping. In summer heat, slip sweats over your clothes, plus a jacket. You might even want a hooded face hat. Soldiers actually stayed here.

2  Thank BlondHillbilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Spent 4.5 hours on the Keyhole expedition in October 2012, with a group of 11 youth and adults from a Scouting Venturing crew. We intentionally chose a challenging trek, and it met our expectations. The website advises that participants should wear solid shoes & clothes that can get dirty, and should be in decent physical condition, and those are good requirements. It was a challenging rock scramble with some crawling (but nothing too hard even for a claustrophobe), and while there were a couple of times when some of us needed to take a deep breath in order to get over a hurdle, the difficulty was generally more "in the head" than real. Take your time, enjoy the beauty, and appreciate the very good guides. Definitely worth the price of admission.

2  Thank JJWLW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

Organ Cave is three experiences in one. We found the website offered a flexible, interesting trip, and were looking to do something more than the basic caving experience (which the guides describe as a "commercial tour"). But to get any type of tour, you have to deal with the first experience, also the least pleasant: the gift shop. Both on the phone and in person, there's not a lot of customer-service mentality at the store. What you want may not be available. You may even get a hard time for asking. So try to decide as best as you can exactly which tour you want, and deal with the gift shop for a bare minimum of the transaction. (It is worth saying, though, that the prices at the gift shop are extraordarily reasonable for rock/geode hunting types.)

The second experience is the commercial tours. These stick to prepared paths and come with lots of narration. You've seen bunches, and quite likely seen better, if you've been to other tourist caves. But the guides are friendly and the property has some interesting history. The rates are good and there are several varieties of discounts to boot.

The third experience is the real caving experience – the “wild caving” or the small-group tours. This is the real deal, and an extraordinary bargain. The company provides helmet, lamp, gloves, and kneepads. You provide sweat, determination, and hopefully some decent shoes (which need to be able to keep traction in damp and mud). There are over a dozen different routes; all of them take some exertion, and any of them that involve straddling can put you over an open expanse that may make you think twice. The guides, however, know the cave, and clearly have a love of being in there. They are devoted caretakers of the resource and insist on a goes-in, goes-out policy (no litter AT ALL was seen on the trip), and have strict guidelines to which they adhere when they encounter the occasional wildlife in the cave. You won’t necessarily get any of the history or much of the science that you get on the commercial tour, but you’ll go deep into the rock, get a great physical challenge, and experience something truly uncommon. You may come out filthy, bruised, and exhausted, but extremely proud to have completed the challenge. Several experienced cavers in our group said the equipment was far better than the norm for the price, and nobody came away feeling like they’d had less than their money’s worth. The guides helped the child (about seven years old) in our group through all the challenging parts of a planned three-hour trip that took closer to four. When we got back to the gift shop, we got some terse words from the clerk for being slow – see the downside to the first experience above – but the trip was a great experience overall. For eco-tourism, you probably can’t do better in the area.

One last tip: The ideal group size is probably between five and ten. Any less than five and there's not much conversation to be had. Any more than ten and it turns into a zoo, ruining the experience of isolation.

2  Thank Adam J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2012

We traveled to the Lewisburg/ White Sulpher Springs area in Mid July. We decided to take a tour of the Organ Cave. We had a guide who knew most things asked of him. We showed up in shorts and short sleeves. The cave is cold at 40-50 degrees. Take a jacket or long sleeves and walking shoes. We have four kids between the ages 10 and 6.They were able to all manage the cave fine. This cave system was facinating. The History is great from the movies and parties that were held there 100+ years ago to the Confederate salt-peter mining in the mid 1800. I would recommend the civil war addition to the tour. Geologically speaking, the formations and small fossil were plentiful. Bring an extra flashlight so you don't have to share if there is a large group.

Thank damtam13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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