Montana is full of natural wonders, but did you know that it's home to the deepest limestone cave in the United States?

Light Shining in Cave
Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash

Across the great state of Montana, you'll find a lot of caves. Some of them are well-known and easily accessible, while others are a bit harder to get to. In fact, there are over 350 known caves in the state.

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According to the National Park Service, there's a reason that Montana has so many caves. Most of the caves in Montana are the result of Karst Topography. Here's a definition.

Karst Topography is a landscape that is primarily formed by the dissolving of the underlying bedrock. It consists of such things as caves, sinkholes, dry valleys, sinking streams, springs, and seeps. When hiking parts of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area and coming across circular or linear depressions, there is a good chance a sinkhole or cave is beneath. Basically, karst is water flowing through rocks and making the openings bigger by dissolving the rocks.

Cave Entrance
Photo by Robin Canfield on Unsplash

Located in the heart of Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness beneath Turtlehead Mountain, you'll find Tears of the Turtle Cave. The mouth of the cave isn't easy to reach either. It requires a 22-mile hike. Discovered in 2006, it is the deepest limestone cave in the United States. The true depth of the cave is still unknown, but at 1,863 feet deep and nearly a mile and a half long, it's the deepest known cave in the lower 48.

Click here to learn more about Tears of the Turtle Cave and check out some pictures.

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