Awe Inspiring Underground

Jill M. Rohrbach

Sometimes words do no justice in describing an experience – like the awe inspired when you walk into the cathedral room, the oldest and prettiest part, of Blanchard Springs Caverns.

When I took my family there earlier this year, my husband’s initial word upon walking into the limestone underground was simply, “Wow!” So, it was the look on his face, eyes smiling wide with surprise, that told me how incredible he thought it was at first glimpse.

My five year old and I were particularly fond of an area that we thought looked like the topography of the moon. I wish I could have understood the inarticulate babbling of my one year old as he pointed at and talked about the cave with a look of pure wonder.

At a cool 58 degrees, it’s the perfect place to visit in the heat of the summer.

The Discovery Trail Tour is available in the summer only (through Sept. 3 this year). This one and a half hour tour is of the middle level of Blanchard Springs Caverns. You walk along large water-carved passages, stand at the natural entrance and can photograph marvelous formations. With nearly 700 stairs, its not recommended for those with walking or health problems. Admission: $10 adult; $5 ages 6-15; $5 with Interagency Senior or Access pass.

The Dripstone Trail Tour is a one hour walking tour through the upper level of Blanchard Springs Caverns. You’ll find the massive cathedral room here along with another hug room filled with calcite formations. Open year round. Admission: $10/adult; $5/ages 6-15; $5/ages 62 and up with Golden Age Passport.

For adventurous souls, the Wild Cave Tour is a four-hour guided trip into undeveloped portions of Blanchard Springs Caverns. Visitors need boots and long pants; must be in good physical condition; will climb, crawl, and get dirty. The tour ends at the spectacular Titans formations, and is well worth it. Participants must be at least 10-12 years old; 10-12 year olds must tour with a responsible adult. Open year round; by reservation only. Admission: $65 per person; $25 nonrefundable/nontransferable deposit, balance due on tour day.

Don’t forget to check out the educational movie and new exhibit hall. There’s a gift shop too. For tour times, rates, or reservations, phone (870) 757-2211 or (888) 757-2246, and visit

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