Indian Echo Caverns

Indian Echo Caverns

At Echo Dell – Indian Echo Caverns, there’s a lot to explore, above ground and below! From year-round limestone cavern tours to a free petting zoo, discover the wonders at this accessible and affordable family attraction in Hummelstown between Hershey and Harrisburg.


Visitor Information and Tips

Below you’ll find information important for guests and tips to help you make the most of your visit to Indian Echo Caverns.

  • Location: 368 Middletown Road in Hummelstown, PA. It’s located close to Route 322, in between Hershey and Harrisburg.
  • Operating Schedule: Open seven days a week except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day
  • Hours: 10 AM to 4 PM year round and 9 AM to 5 PM Memorial Day through Labor Day
  • Admission: See site for current rates.
  • Parking: Free and close by.
  • Pets: Pets are permitted but must be held throughout the tour. Due to safety reasons, leashes are not permitted.
  • Accessibility: Due to the stairs, terrain, and narrow passages, wheelchairs and strollers are not permitted.

All About Indian Echo Caverns

An underground, guided tour of Indian Echo Caverns is a lot of what you’d expect – impressive, ancient rock formations and natural beauty – along with some fascinating facts and history about the limestone caverns and its first inhabitants! Uncover the secrets of Indian Echo Caverns, a natural geologic wonder millions of years in the making.

How old are the caverns, and how did they form?

The limestone in the caverns is more than 440 million years old! As water flowed from the surface through the limestone, it eroded the rock, giving way to more and more openings and crevices. Geological forces led to an “uplift” of the limestone.

The rooms inside the caverns are plenty big to stand in. The largest area – The Indian Ballroom – is 49 feet high and 110 feet wide.



How did the lake get there?

One of the most Instagrammed spots inside the caverns is Crystal Lake, a six-foot-deep pool of water. The rock below the lake isn’t as permeable as the rest of the ground, so water seeping down from the surface sticks around for a while!

What are stalagmites and stalactites?

(*Gasp* Your science teacher would be ashamed!)

A stalagmite is a type of rock formation that forms from the ground up, while a stalactite inches down from the ceiling. When the two meet, they create impressive columns. The caverns are always changing and growing, ever so slowly. It can take anywhere from 35 to 150 years to grow 1 inch of new formation! Look around; you might even see some Hershey’s Kisses shaped formations, perfect for the region.



Lake in Indian Echo

What were the caverns used for?

The caverns maintain a temperate 52 degrees Fahrenheit year round, making it a comfortable refuge in no matter the weather. The caverns’ earliest known inhabitants – the Susquehannock Indians – used the caverns for shelter and storage. In the 17th century, early European explorers and hunters most likely discovered the mouth of the caverns while navigating the Swatara Creek and wrote home about their use of the caverns. One of the caverns’ most famous residents was the Pennsylvania hermit, William Wilson, who called the caves home from 1802 to 1821.

In 1919, a group of teenagers made a cool discovery – a small wooden chest known today as the Mystery Box. Inside they found several stones, jewelry, foreign coins, and more. The oldest piece in the box was a Moroccan coin dated 1288. To this day, no one knows who owned the box, but you can peek at its contents on display in the gift shop.

It wasn’t until 1929 that the caverns opened to the general public by Mr. John Bieber. He made the caverns’ pathways safe for visitors and opened several rooms closed off by mineral deposits. The caverns’ attracted thousands of visitors in its first year. Today, a local family owns and operates the caverns, which sees hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.


Are there any creatures inside?

Now that the caverns are maintained and operational to visitors, you don’t see many animals inside. But there’s always a chance to see the occasional bat or salamander.


Viewing the cave at Indian Echo Caverns


What can I expect on a guided tour?

Tours last approximately 45 minutes, with an additional 15 minutes for walking to and from the cavern entrance. Your knowledgeable tour guide will share caverns’ history, talk about the ecology, and point out impressive formations. While you’re listening and asking questions, please pay attention to your surroundings. The caverns are well-lit, and its pathways are clear of debris, but you may encounter low ceilings and small puddles after a rainfall.

Tour times vary by day and season, depending on how busy the attraction is. As soon as you arrive, check in at the gift shop to reserve your spot on the next tour, then you can browse around for a bit before it’s time to meet the group.

What should I wear?

The caverns maintain a consistent 52 degrees Fahrenheit year round, making it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It’s a good idea to dress in layers. When it comes to footwear, wear comfortable shoes for walking and ones that cover your toes.

Can I touch anything?

No, you don’t want to touch any rock formations. The natural oils on your hands can prevent the formations from growing. Remember, it can take 100 years to sprout just one inch!

Outdoor Activities at Echo Dell

From gem panning to goat petting, there’s even more to do above ground at Echo Dell – Indian Echo Caverns.


Gem Mill Junction

Make a discovery like a real pioneer at the Gem Mill Junction, where you can pan for gemstones, coins, arrowheads, fossils, and more. Purchase a bag of sand and goodies from the gift shop then take it outside to sift it. As water washes the sand away, you’ll uncover several small treasures that are yours to keep! The Gem Mill Junction is open seasonally, usually April to October.

Petting Zoo

It’s free to visit with the adorable farm animals outside at Echo Dell. They have goats, alpacas, chickens, a rooster, a turkey, peacocks, and pheasants. All of the animals are friendly and trained. You can purchase a handful of snacks for the animals from the coin-operated machines nearby.


Mining for gems at Indian Echo Caverns

Petting zoo goat at Indian Echo


Picnic Tables and Playground

While Indian Echo Caverns doesn't sell any concessions, you can plan ahead with a packed lunch at one of their free-to-use picnic tables. Let the kids' imaginations run wild at the playground area, featuring several slides, swings, monkey bars, and climbing wall!