The Philadelphia Grotto is a caving club that was chartered in 1947 as a chapter of the National Speleological Society. We are dedicated to cave conservation, exploration, education, and research.

Prospective cavers and members – please come to our next meeting and learn more about The Philadelphia Grotto.

Youth Group Information

Emergency Contacts

Call 911 in a cave emergency.
A few years ago Eastern Region, NCRC decided that it is best for cavers with an emergency to call 911 or the local emergency number if it is not 911. The 911 call centers should be up-to-date on who to call if there is a cave emergency. however, since this is not the case for all of the areas we cave in, Here’s a short list of cave rescue contact numbers:

  • Eastern Region NCRC (VA,WV,PA,NC,MD,DE,NJ) 911
  • Northeast Region NCRC (NY,MA,CT,VT,NH,ME,RI) 914-964-2424
  • Tennessee: 800-262-3300 (in state), or 800-258-3300

For more emergency phone numbers, see the ER-NCRC Cave Rescue Number List


Who are we?

We are a group of individuals from the Philadelphia area who like to drive 14 hours (sometimes less) to crawl around and get wet and muddy in caves. Many grotto members are active in other outdoors activities, such as backpacking, white water rafting, hiking, sailing, rock climbing, and mountaineering.

The Philly Grotto emphasizes the National Speleological Society motto:
Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time.
We are a conservation-minded organization interested in educating people about the underground wilderness that we love.

Why do we do this?

Few of us actually know this answer. It’s probably a combination of a spirit of exploration, natural beauty, friendship and physical challenge.

How do I get involved?

Come to a meeting, join the grotto and sign up for a beginners trip.

How do I get more information about joining?

Come to a meeting and we’ll answer all your questions. If you can’t make a meeting, email the grotto membership chairperson

How much are membership dues?

Annual membership dues are:
Individual: $10.00
Family: $15.00

A grotto membership includes a subscription to the Philly Grotto News, published 6 times a year, caving trip information, use of grotto helmets and lamps, and voting privleges in the annual officer elections (held during our December grotto meeting/Christmas party).

What is the NSS?

The NSS Is the National Speleological Society, our National caving organization.

For more information, visit http://www.caves.org