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Sewanee: The University of the South

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Sewanee is home to many amazing caves. On campus there are at least 10 caves with traversible passage. Many more are just a short drive away. Student-led trips go out weekly to explore the exotic underground world.

Sick SOP Caving Vids

Earth from Below: Vertical Caving on Sewanee's campus

"SOP does Vert" from Luke Padgett and Eric Keen.
This time-lapse video was shot right on campus while the Sewanee Outing Program led a vertical cave training session.

Caving at Sewanee

Some of the caves we have done this year are:

Caves on Campus
  • Sewanee Blowhole
  • Walker Spring's Cave
  • Sub Solomon's Cave
  • Solomon's Temple
  • Bat Cave
  • Wriggle Cave
  • Buckets of Blood
Caves Nearby
  • Multilevel Cave
  • Catacombs Cave
  • Bible Springs
  • [not so] Flat Cave
  • Keith's Cove
  • Neversink Cave
  • Circle Cave
  • White Crickett
  • Sinking Cove Cave
  • Wilson Hollow Horror Hole

Cave Temperature

Caves here in Tennessee are a constant temperature year round at roughly 55°. In the summer it is a nice cool break and in the winter a warm retreat. We do, however, recommend wearing a long sleeved shirt to keep from shivering.

Tight Turns

Sometimes cavers find themselves in a tight spot. In this case, caver, Anna (pictured left), has removed her helmet to fit under this rock.


Helmets are a must when caving. Loose rock falling from above could cause an untimely accident, but most importantly, helmets protect your head from unexpected attacks by low ceilings.

Time for Dinner

Caving is hungry work. Even though most of our trips last only 5 hours, we regularly carry food for a snack break. SOP Director, John Benson, and a student are breaking out some graham crackers while exploring a new section of passage.

Wet Caves

With wet caves (any cave with water) mud tends to be a rule. This caver's shoes have seen better days. Thankfully, cave mud washes out of most things.

Closed Toe Shoes

As you can see, caves are not nice places on the feet. Sharp rock and uneaven ground conspire to tear at clothes and unfoot any would-be caver.

Neversink is one of the most beautiful places around. It is repeatedly pictured in cave journals as the cover picture. Located a simple hour from Sewanee, this 163ft pit has more colors than you would imagine.

This picture was taken on a Student Leader trip. The SOP relies on the students to lead trips for other students within their speciality. Without knowledgeable students leading hundreds of trips every year the SOP could not be the fantastic program it is today. In order to honor their dedication, trips like this to Neversink are limited to leaders.

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Contact Information

Sewanee: The University of the South735 University Ave, Sewanee, TN 37383931.598.100035.204826-85.921674