Trip Ideas: Missouri's Underground Treasures
Missouri is known to some as 'The Cave State' as it has more than 6,000 known caves. Enjoy the underground experience visiting a Missouri cave offers.
Day One
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. Only 50 percent of the cave is developed, and the remaining areas are preserved for wildlife. The educational, family-friendly tour takes 45 minutes to one hour.
954 Route 59 South, Noel MO 64854, 417-475-3666
Hours: March-October: Daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; November-February: schedule varies
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.
399 Silver Dollar City Parkway, Branson MO 65616, 800-831-4386
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
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.
3575 N. Smallin Road, Ozark MO 65721, 417-551-4545
Hours: Check website for hours
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.
4872 N. Route 125, Springfield MO 65803, 417-833-2010
Hours: 8 a.m.-dusk
Day Two

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.

23114 Route TT, Versailles MO 65084, 573-378-4374
Hours: Memorial Day-Labor Day: daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Off-season hours: daily, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
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.
100 Historic Route 66, Waynesville MO 65583, 573-336-6355
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
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.
FLW N, Fort Leonard Wood MO 65473, 573-596-2814
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Day Three
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.
RR 1, Box 132, Eminence MO 65466, 573-323-8093
Hours: Tours: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Guided tours of a seven-level natural wonder. The cave is reputed to have been used as a hideout by Jesse James. Facilities include: gift shop; boat rides; sluice; picnic areas; and a candy store. Meramec Caverns Restaurant; Meramec Caverns Motel; Meramec Caverns Campground; Cavern Canoe and Raft Rentals; Jesse James Wax Museum; and Caveman Zipline are all on-site.
1135 Route W, Stanton MO 63079, 573-468-3166
Hours: May-June: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; July-Labor Day: 8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Nov.-Feb.: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; March and Oct.: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; April and Sep.: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
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 caves in the world, where the passages form crisscross style patterns. The tour lasts one hour. There are no stairs, but good walking shoes are recommended. The temperature inside is 52 degrees Fahrenheit, year-round.
300 Cave Hollow Road, Hannibal MO 63401, 573-221-1656
Hours: April-May 31, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; June-Aug. 20, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Aug. 21-Oct. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Labor Day weekend, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Nov.-March, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.