Ice caves are not strictly a winter-only phenomenon -- you just have to go to the right place.
Many of the most spectacular examples are in glaciers, formed as summer meltwater widens openings in these ever-shifting rivers of ice. Deep blue glacial ice can cause the light filtering through to bathe everything inside in a spectral glow.
Others are actual caves where, by some geological fluke, the temperature remains below freezing year round, so that water seeping in accumulates into incredible frozen formations.
We did the research and came up with the top ice caves you can visit even when the mercury starts rising again.
The show Breaking Bad may have made Albuquerque synonymous with “blue ice,” but a short drive west on I-40 can take you to a place where a different hue prevails. At Bandera Volcano in El Malpais National Monument, a 20-foot-thick layer of bright green ice lies at the bottom of a collapsed lava tube. Because the basalt walls insulate the cave even in the searing New Mexico summer, the temperature never gets above 32 degrees and water that flows into the cave freezes—with a layer of green algae on top. Photo Credit: © Flickr / Stephanie Fitzgerald Click Here to see ALL the Ice Caves You Can Visit Year Round
This tiny town in western Greenland is so close to the island’s massive ice sheet—the second largest in the world after Antarctica’s—that you can actually drive to its edge. Caves formed by the summer melt abound here, and can be accessed with the help of tour operators. World of Greenland Arctic Circle offers two-day overnights on the ice cap, and Arctic Caving Adventure can take you deep in the tunnels and shafts formed by meltwater. Photo Credit: © Flickr / Visit Greenland
The third-largest ice cap in the world is in Patagonia, feeding dozens of glaciers in this national park. One of the best places to explore is Viedma Glacier, which flows into Viedma Lake near Mount Fitz Roy. Patagonia Aventura offers an “Ice Trek” tour on, and into, the deep blue ice. Photo Credit: © Flickr / Fang-Yu Lin Click Here to see ALL the Ice Caves You Can Visit Year Round
A tourist attraction since the 1800s, this UNESCO World Heritage site in Slovak Karst country is filled with columns, domes and stalagmites, all made of ice. Open to visitors from May through September, temperatures in the nearly mile-long cave can get down to the 20s Fahrenheit, so bring a jacket. Photo Credit: © Flickr / Roland Tóth
Juneau isn’t the only place in Alaska with awe-inspiring glacial caves. Glaciers cover over 5,000 square miles of this park (which is the largest in the United States), and two of the most accessible are Root Glacier and Kennicott Glacier, both near the abandoned mining town of Kennecott. Operators leading tours into the caves include Alaska Denali Travel and St. Elias Alpine Guides.. Photo Credit: © Flickr / Mark Steven Click Here to see ALL the Ice Caves You Can Visit Year Round
-Mark Lebetkin,The Active Times
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