Rainbow 📷 Jacob Lieber
Rainbow 📷 Jacob Lieber

We are the National Speleological Society

Founded in 1941, the NSS is the largest membership organization dedicated to caves & caving.  Composed of over 8,000 members and 250+ local chapters - known as grottos - we work to connect cavers so they can work on exploring, studying, and conserving caves worldwide.

Whether you are just starting or have been caving for years, membership in the NSS means being a part of the largest community of cavers in the world.

Attending a grotto meeting - held all over the country every week - means being involved in countless caving trips, projects, and conservation efforts

What We Do

Connect Cavers Worldwide

Recreation & Fellowship

Conservation & Preservation

Cave Exploration



Mission Statement

The National Speleological Society (NSS) is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the scientific study of caves and karst; protecting caves and their natural contents through conservation, ownership, stewardship, and public education; and promoting responsible cave exploration and fellowship among those interested in caves.

Our Focus

Wounded Knee 📷 Laura Sangalia
Wounded Knee 📷 Laura Sangalia

Caving community

Being an NSS member means connecting with other cavers and staying on top of discoveries, gear, and developments in speleology. With events throughout the year, there are plenty of ways to connect! Plus membership means discounts on gear and events!

Andreas Klocker with the Anthodites, San Augustin section of Sistema Huautla, Oaxaca, Mexico
Anthodites 📷 Matt Tomlinson

Cave protection

With over 23 preserves and countless other initiatives, the NSS works everyday to preserve the underground environment for future generations. Learn about our conservation efforts, visit a preserve, or get involved today!

Wet Drop 📷 Kasia Biernacka
Wet Drop 📷 Kasia Biernacka

Cave exploration

Few activities provide the opportunity to explore never-before-seen places on earth. Every year NSS members are involved in exploring some of the most significant caves on earth.

Skull 📷 Stephen Eginoire
Skull 📷 Stephen Eginoire

Cave Science

Whether through scientific grants or the work of it's members, the NSS is dedicated to furthering human knowledge about the underground environment.

Interested in becoming a member?

Be a part of the largest cave membership organization in the world and help us explore, protect, and study caves! Sign up today and get access to:

Digital or Print NSS Publications

Gear Discounts 

Event & Training Discounts

Access to NSS Grants

Caving Trips

Join today, find your grotto, and start caving!

Andy Hayes climbs up the last drop in Dry Creek Indian Cave.
Dry Creek Indian Cave 📷 Nikki Fox