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The cave was discovered and explored in 1925; excavation began in 1927. Substantial artifacts were discovered, including arrowheads, grinding stones, tools made of bone, and skeletal remains of the early inhabitants, including American Indians; some items date to 5,000 B.C.
This cavern has been open every day since 1927 for public tours. Only 50 percent of the cave is developed—the remaining areas are preserved for wildlife. The educational, family-friendly tour lasts 45 minutes to one hour. It is an easy, well lit walk. The cave has several recognized cave formations, including one of the largest rimstone pools in the state.
The on-site Browning Museum, included in the tour, holds more than 700 locally-found arrowheads and other chipped artifacts, plus a collection of mineral rocks, fossils and artifacts. To fully enjoy the cave and the museum, allow 1-1.5 hours.
Admission: $12; ages 4-11, $6; younger than 4, free.
National Geographic calls Bonne Terre Mine: "One of America's Top 10 Greatest Adventures."
One of the world’s largest man-made caverns, founded in 1860 as one of history’s earliest deep-earth lead mines. This was the world’s largest producer of lead ore until it was closed in 1962.
The mine has five levels. Not suitable for service animals. The two upper levels are lighted and used for one-hour, guided walking tours along the old mule trails, showing were miners dug with pick and shovel in the 1860s. (Tour includes a 65-step staircase, in and out.) The mine is a constant 65-degrees, year-round; never affected by the weather.
The lower three levels form a one billion gallon, seventeen-mile long lake, illuminated by more than 500,000 watts of stadium lighting above the water’s surface. Boat tours are available on the crystal clear water, with spectacular views of the abandoned shafts and equipment below.
The mine is home to the largest fresh water scuba diving venue in the world. (Diving reservations are required.) The clear, 58-degree water, illuminated from above, affords divers visibility more than 100 feet down. Diving is conducted in groups of nine, always accompanied by two guides.
Located one hour south of St. Louis, off of Route 67.
Cave tours travel over concrete pathways, through the cave's 60-degree Fahrenheit environment. One-hour guided tours begin every 15 minutes.
Facilities include: a snack bar; rock shop; a gift shop; observation decks; a picnic area; and a boat dock. A stalactite adorned Bridal Chapel is inside the cave.
Located on Route 5, at Lake Road 5-88, two miles north of Camdenton; by water, at the 10-Mile-Marker on the Big Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks.
General Admission: $16; ages 5-12, $8. Closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Cameron Cave offers a different underground adventure; you tour the cave by lantern light, seeing it as it was when first discovered. The only changes made were those necessary to make the tour more comfortable and to meet Missouri State Safety regulations for show caves.
A guided, 90-minute tour takes you through this unique, complex-maze cave. Cameron Cave (discovered in 1925) is on the property of the Mark Twain Cave; one mile south of Hannibal on Route 79.
Open two weekends before Memorial Day to a few weekends after Labor Day.
Cathedral Cave is located in Onondaga Cave State Park. The tour begins at the campground showerhouse. Before entering the cave, you'll have a one-third mile walk up Deer Run Trail to the cave's entrance. Once inside the cave, the tour lasts about 90 minutes. The cave temperature is 57ºF (13ºC). The tour is limited to the first 30 people. It is more strenuous than the Onondaga Cave tour and covers 1.66 miles round trip.
Most, if not all, of Cathedral Cave is hollowed in the Gasconade dolomite, which was laid down approximately 440 million years ago. The cave consists of two distinct sections: a dimensionally larger and presumably older passage with its entrance high on the campground valley hillside; and the much longer, narrower, younger and lower (both in passage size and elevation) cave stream passage, which intersects the stream at right angles near the Cathedral column - the premier speleothem in the cave.
Admission prices are $8 for adults; $7 for ages 13-19 and 65 and older; and $6 for ages 6-12. Children younger than age 6 are admitted free.
Tours of Cathedral Cave are offered:
Current River Cavern is an extremely well-decorated cave with a wide variety of natural formations. A natural stream flows beneath the boardwalk, and a small waterfall can be seen from a side passage after heavy rains. The temperature inside is a constant 58 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
We use remote-controlled, battery powered LED lights that give off a restricted light spectrum that does not disturb the cave life or promote algae growth (which can damage formations).
The last tour starts at 4:30 p.m. Guided 40 minute tours, include the on-site Mineral and Fossil Museum and Nature Center. The tour ends with a climb of 36 steps back to the surface.
Cave Spring Park offers a number of activities, including multiple ziplines, gem and fossil panning, or a quarry dig.
Cave tours: $12. Group discounts offered for school, church and Scout field trips.
Visit our website for details.
Open May thru September.
America's Only All-Riding Cave Tour. The cave is toured in Jeep-drawn trams. Since you ride all the way, you experience the magnitude, the stillness and the splendor of Fantastic Caverns while preserving its natural features.
The unique tour follows the path of an ancient underground river. Enjoy the beauty of a natural cave without the long walks, stairs or steep climbs. The guided, all-riding tour is ideal for seniors, families with small children and physically challenged travelers. Group rates offered.
From I-44, take Exit 77; follow Route 13 north 1.5 miles, follow the signs. Open year-round.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Free App at www.bransonmap.mobi. Admission Charged, children younger than six, free with parents.
Fantasy World Caverns includes a large underground lake, and a wide variety of formations including flowstone, dripstone, stalactites, stalagmites, helectites, helegmites, soda straws, spongework, cave corral and stromatolite fossils.
There is a customer-use picnic area with grill, overlooking a creek and valley; it's very popular for family reunions and a quiet lunch.
Tours average one hour; tour times are posted on our Facebook page, and you may call.
Admission: $15; ages 13-17, $10; ages 5-12, $5; younger than 5, free. Group and family rates are offered.
From the low, narrow streamside passages to the huge rooms filled with calcite deposits, Fisher Cave offers one outstanding cave scene after another. Inside these rooms and passages are well-preserved bear claw marks, cave wildlife and a vast array of calcite deposits ranging from intricate hellectites to massive columns 30 feet tall.
Educational groups are admitted at half price. All groups must schedule tours at least two weeks in advance.
Located within Meramec State Park, off Route 185. The park offers camping, dining, canoeing, lodging, trails and picnicking.
Tours: $8; ages 13-19, $7; ages 6-12, $6; younger than 6, free.
Jacob's Cave was the first commercialized cave in the Lake of the Ozarks area—it opened for tourists in 1932. The cave is famous for its depth illusions, reflective pools, ceiling sponge-work, prehistoric bones (mastodon, bear and peccary) and what is believed to be the world's largest geode.
On the mile-long tour, you'll see many types of cave formations, including millions of "soda straws" as well as huge stalactites and columns. The temperature in the cave is 53 degrees year-round.
Jacob's Cave is located between Versailles and Gravois Milles, off of Route 5 on Route TT. The largest cave in the Lake Area, it is completely accessible to persons with disabilities. Baby strollers and wheel chairs are available for those who need them.
Visit our website for tour information and schedules. Admission: $15; ages 4-12, $7.
This is the cave author Mark Twain described in five of his books. The cave was first shown in 1886. It is a registered National Natural Landmark.
This is one of a few labyrinth style caves in the world, where the passages form crisscross patterns. The tour lasts one hour. There are no stairs – good walking shoes are recommended. The temperature inside is 52 degrees Fahrenheit, year-round.
Located on Route 79, two miles south of downtown Hannibal.
Tickets: Adults $16; ages 8-12, $10; younger than 8, $3. Group rates offered.
Cameron Cave (tours by lantern light) and Cave Hollow West Winery are on-site.
Marvel Cave, a Registered Natural Landmark, opened for tours in 1894. The cave, which lies beneath Silver Dollar City theme park, was the first attraction to bring tourists to the Branson area. One of the deepest caves in Missouri, it has one of the largest subterranean entry-rooms in the United States. Traditional guided cave tours are included with standard admission to Silver Dollar City.
Cave tours depart every half-hour; they last about one hour. Because of the strenuous nature of the tour, which includes nearly 600 stairs and some stooping, it is not recommend for visitors with heart or lung conditions, bad backs, weak knees or bad ankles.
For an additional fee, special lantern light tours are offered 90 minutes prior to park closing time, March through October, and at 5:30 p.m. in November & December. (Children younger than 8 are not permitted on this tour.). Reservations are required. See website for details.
Go on a guided tour of this seven-level natural wonder, the possibly the oldest stop along historic Route 66. Tours are conducted along well-lighted walkways. Cavern tour takes one hour and twenty minutes, covering 1¼ miles. Meramec Caverns has been a tourist attraction since 1933. The cave is reputed to have been used by Jesse James and his gang as a hideout.
Facilities include: gift shop; a sluice; picnic areas; a candy store. Also on-site (see separate listings): Meramec Caverns Restaurant; Meramec Caverns Motel; Meramec Caverns Campground; Cavern Canoe and Raft Rentals; Jesse James Wax Museum; and Caveman Zipline.
Located off of I-44 at exit 230. Closed on Thanksgiving and Dec. 25.
Cave tours: $20; ages 5-11, $10; younger than 5, free.
This cave contains archaeological evidence of human occupancy from 7,000 B.C. to A.D. 1,400. Artifacts from this cave are displayed in the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington D.C.
Miller Cave is part of a cave complex in the bluffs above the Big Piney River, along the southern boundary of Ft. Leonard Wood. One of the largest caves on Fort Leonard Wood, it is the only one open to the public. A trail leads to the main entrance, in a bluff approximately 150 feet above the Big Piney River; two more openings face the river, affording a spectacular view of the river valley. Trail is steep but a short walk.
Onondaga Cave, a National Natural Landmark within Onondaga Cave State Park, is recognized as one of the most spectacular caves in the nation because of the quality of its formations. The tours lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes, covering about one mile of passageways. The cave's temperature is 57ºF (13ºC) year-round.
Scheduled tours are given, mid April thru mid October. Cave tour prices: $15; ages 6-12, $9; younger than 6, free.
Group rates are offered for 10 or more people. Group reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance in order to receive the group, however, group reservations can be made up to seven months in advance.
Traditional, children's, and adult tours are offered, all using hand-held lanterns. Bats, salamanders and interesting cave formations are features of this cave. Located in Lake of the Ozarks State Park, eight miles east of Linn Creek, off of Route A. Open April 16-Oct. 14.
Tours: $8; ages 13-18 $7; ages 6-12 $6; younger than 6, free.
World-renowned cave scuba diving adventure in Laughlin Park. The average daily flow of Roubidoux Spring is 37 million gallons; 16th largest in Missouri. Temperature ranges from the upper 40s in winter to the low 60s in summer and fall.
Roubidoux Spring is open to all certified cave divers. You must check-in and present your certification in the 911 Emergency Center, on top of the hill adjacent to the fire station. There is no charge for diving. Contact the Waynesville Police Department for information.
Local dive shop on the square in Waynesville is another great resource for information.
Enjoy beautiful cave formations and the silent beauty of the underground world. Tours are offered Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day; limit of 15 people per tour. Dress warmly and wear good walking shoes. No reservations are taken.
Sorry, we cannot accommodate large groups. Schools should call for special educational tours and programs.
Tickets go on sale 30 minutes before each tour: $5; younger than 13, $2.
We are trying to control the spread of a disease among our bats. Spores and germs from one cave can infect another. Help us help the bats. Do not wear or bring any clothing, shoes or equipment that has been used inside any other cave.
A part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
Smallin Cave was the first documented cave in the Ozarks. The cave entrance is 55-feet tall and 100-feet wide. The cave holds a cache of Ozark history.
Regular, one-hour guided tours travel one-half mile. Our trails are wheelchair and stroller friendly; no stairs, just gradual inclines. Gemstone and fossil mining are available. There is a free picnic area. Snacks, sodas and water are available for purchase in the gift shop.
Wild cave tours offered by reservation only: two-hour, one-mile underground adventure off the beaten path, lit only by the headlamp on your helmet. During this tour, you walk through at least two feet of 54-degree water and traverse rugged terrain; lace-up shoes, headlamps, and helmets are required for this tour; age 12 and older only; younger than 18 must be accompanied by parent. Helmets and headlamps available for rent. Minimum of four persons.
Civil War Lantern Tours are offered in the fall. Join us around the campfire for an evening of southern food, storytelling and a lantern-light trip through the mysterious Smallin Civil War Cave. Reservations are required. Call or email with questions.
Civil War Christmas Tours are offered Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. As you drink hot cocoa around a crackling campfire, you hear stories of how Civil War soldiers celebrated Christmas. Later, you are treated to a lantern-light tour of the cave.
Explore the world underground, as professional guides take you along lighted paths beside crystal formations. Don’t miss our gift shop, nature trails, gemstone mining, lookout tower, crawl mazes, picnic areas, and mini-golf.
This limestone mine was founded in 1921. It is used for research, rescue practice, study of mining practices and other projects by students in geological and mining engineering.
The mine has tours and exhibits of old mining equipment.
Autumn at The Lake
Cooler temperatures don't mean an end to fun at Lake of the Ozarks.
Missouri's Great River Road
Enjoy the sights along Missouri's section of the Great River Road.
Missouri's Underground Treasures
Here's a look at some of Missouri's popular show caves.
Outdoor Fun in Branson
You know about the shows and shops, now head outdoors in Branson.
Playing in Pulaski County
Golf escapes, kayaking and canoeing adventures are spaced throughout Route 66 attractions. There is plenty to do on a trip to Missouri’s Pulaski Count
Route 66 Part One
Route 66 is a great way to explore the Show-Me State and to see some truly unique sites.
Summer at Lake of the Ozarks
With temperatures rising it's time to get in that water and enjoy all the Lake of the Ozarks has to offer.
The Civil War in Southwest Missouri
Check out historic sites and battlefields in this region of the Show-Me State.
Time with Twain
Journey in and around Hannibal to experience life in Mark Twain's home town.
Way of American Genius - Part 1
This section of the Way of American genius focuses on folks such as Walt Disney and Mark Twain.
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