Welcome to Madison University Student Grotto

We are the Caving Club at James Madison University. Our main objective is to give JMU students and area residents in Harrisonburg, Va., who are interested in caving, a chance to explore the Virginias’ vast underground. We are a member in the Virginia Region (VAR) and a chapter in the National Speleological Society (NSS), a national organization that represents the interests of cavers and promotes caving.

About Us

Our main objective is to give you an opportunity to cave the vast underground in the karst region of Virginia and West Virginia.

We teach and promote safe caving techniques and conservation, such as "leave no trace" practices. Caving is inherently a risky activity, especially without proper training, so safe caving always comes first in our grotto.


Everyone is welcome to join MUSG, you do not have to be a JMU student! Dues are $35 per semester. Come to a meeting, sign up for a trip and find out if caving is for you.

All members get access to use the grotto gear. This includes helmets, headlamps, cave packs, vertical gear, webbing, rope and other caving accessories. Most importantly, the club provides all the batteries for the headlamps.


MUSG is considered a Sports Club within the university. Each student at JMU must complete a consent form before going underground for UREC.

Several vertical training sessions occur during the school year. We use the rock wall to teach safe techniques on how to rappel and climb rope using ascenders (to explore underground pits). The UREC Rock Wall Waiver must be completed to participate.


“UREC Mask policies in effect on March 7, 2022:
Masks are optional in all University Recreation facilities, with the exception of the following:
⁃ Masks are required in the Athletic Training Room, which is considered a medical facility.
⁃ Professors in academic classes held at UREC may require their students to wear masks while in class at their discretion. 
⁃ If you are meeting in a private office, the host may ask you to wear a mask, and you should honor the request or choose a virtual option.”
Keep up-to-date on JMU’s changing mask policy here.

The Underground World

Solution caves are created by by the action of slowly moving ground water that dissolves the rock along weaknesses such as joints, fractures, faults, and rock layers to form underground passages.

Officers 2021-22