Tytoona Cave

Tytoona Cave Nature Preserve - Sinking Valley Cave - Arch Spring Cave

Useful Information

Location: Tytoona Cave Nature Preserve. I99 exit at Tyrone, west on 453 for 9 km, turn right on Kettle Rd,
Open: All year daily 6-21.
Fee: free, donations welcome.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours:
Address: Tytoona Cave Nature Preserve, Garrett Czmor, E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1788 cave first explored.
1947 first attempt to commercialize the cave failed.
1972 second attempt to commercialize the cave failed.
23-DEC-1997 land bought by the NSS from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.


Tytoona Cave is located at Tytoona Cave Nature Preserve in Blair County outside of Tyrone, PA. It was named for its proximity to Tyrone and Altoona, so its name is a combination of those names. The Tytoona Cave Nature Preserve is owned by the National Speleological Society. The cave is thus protected but accessible for interested caving groups.

The cave has a total length of about one mile, most of it inaccessible because of sumps. About 330 m are available for moderate caving tours. It is also possible to vist the impressive entrance without caving gear. The portal is 4 m high and the floor is horizontal, but the cave narrows after only 20 m. The natural entrance is a swallow hole located at the bottom of a sinkhole. A river is flowing into the cave portal, which is a triangular slash in the tilted limestone, the form is obviously a result of the layering.

The NSS has numerous preserves, but as they are generally intended for cavers we do not list them. This site is not exactly for inexperienced cave visitors, but the interesting entrance with the sinkhole and the impressive tectonic structure of the limestone is of great interest and easy to visit. The entrance section has a sort of trail from the two attempts to commerciallize the cave.

The vist of the swallow hole may be completed by a visit to Arch Spring, where the swallowed water reappears at the surface. The spring is named after a natural arch or natural bridge in front of the spring. The arch is not located on the Tytoona Cave Preserve property, so it is necessary to obtain permission to vist it from the landowner. However, it is adjacent to Kettle Road and can easily be seen from the road.