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Incredible Underground Tunnels You Can Visit in the US

There’s more to explore than what you can see on the surface. Check out these six incredible underground tunnels you can visit in the United States.

In search of a unique vacation idea? Many people choose to visit somewhere aboveground, but you might consider trying something new and heading underground. Check out these incredible underground tunnels you can visit in the US.

Burro Schmidt Tunnel – Kern County, CA

This small but impressive half-mile tunnel is in the Mojave Desert’s El Paso Mountains. The most remarkable detail is that it was completely handmade by William “Burro” H. Schmidt. The story has it that back in 1900, Mr. Schmidt was mining in the area and needed a way to haul his ore through the mountains. You’re free to roam the area just as he did over 120 years ago.

Subtropolis Business Complex – Kansas City, MO

Allegedly the largest underground business complex in the world, Subtropolis hosts 1,600+ workers every day. A variety of businesses calls Subtropolis home, from e-commerce shops to manufacturing establishments. The 55 million-square-foot, man-made artificial cave lies 160 feet below Kansas City and features about 7 miles of roads.

City Market Catacombs – Indianapolis, IN

Underneath the popular City Market are catacombs complete with dirt floors, brick columns, and eerie brick walls. The catacombs were originally designed for storage in the 1880s, but they’re now used for parties and special events.

Snoqualmie Tunnel – Snoqualmie Pass, WA

Constructed as a railroad tunnel in 1912, Snoqualmie Tunnel is now a part of Iron Horse State Park’s John Wayne Pioneer Trail. Abandoned in 1980, this 2.3-mile-long tunnel is now a one-of-a-kind path for hikers and cyclists. The most unique aspect about this tunnel is that is offers no light sources—visitors must provide their own lighting.

Seattle Underground – Seattle, WA

If you’ve ever wanted to visit an abandoned city that’s also underground, then come to Seattle. Back in 1899, the Great Seattle Fire devastated the city. Seattle was rebuilt from the ruins via a “second floor,” which raised the city up by about 22 feet so the city could start afresh. Believe it or not, some businesses on the original “floor” were still in use until 1907. The Seattle Underground reopened to the public in the 1950s as a tourist destination.

Sterling Hill Mines Rainbow Tunnel – Ogdensburg, NJ

The Rainbow Tunnel isn’t called a rainbow tunnel for no reason. Exposed zinc ore covers this abandoned mining tunnel, creating a glowing fluorescent masterpiece when illuminated by ultraviolet light. Touring this tunnel is very user friendly, as the tunnel is well lit and wheelchair accessible.

When marveling at frequently used underground tunnels and complexes, one has to wonder how they stay safe for everyday use. Doesn’t the air become contaminated with dust, mold spores, gases, fumes, or other airborne debris? How are the areas protected from crime? What happens if there’s an emergency? The answer: industrial networking. From surveillance systems to ventilation systems, industrial networking is critical to keeping underground facilities safe and healthy—whether you’re working there, driving through, or visiting as a tourist!

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