Crystal Cave (Wisconsin)

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Travertine soda straw stalactites and bulbous stalagmites in the Crystal Cave

Crystal Cave is Wisconsin’s longest known cave.[1][2] Crystal Cave located in Wisconsin's Pierce County, less than a mile west of Spring Valley on State Highway 29. Discovered by accident in 1881 by William Vanasse, Crystal Cave is a multi-level solutional cave formed in dolomite bedrock located in the Prairie du Chien Group. The dolomite was formed approximately 485 million years ago in the lower Ordovician Period when a warm shallow ocean covered much of Wisconsin and Minnesota.[2][3]


The cave is accessed by a series of steps and ramps that allow visitors to descend over 70 feet. Stalactites, stalagmites and rippling flowstone can be seen hanging from the ceiling or covering the ledges of the cave.

During the school year, the cave is a popular destination for tourists and school field trips.


  1. ^ The world down under, Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine, Oct 2007 
  2. ^ a b "Flaming meteors, dark caves, and raging waters—Geological curiosities of western Wisconsin". Geological Society of America Field Guide. 3 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Crystal Cave page". Geological Society of America Field Guide. 21 January 2006. 

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Coordinates: 44°49′57″N 92°15′07″W / 44.832567°N 92.251950°W / 44.832567; -92.251950