Caves, Caverns, Spelunking
Visitors who venture beneath the surface will find subterranean lakes and streams, mazes, crystals, fossils, cave creatures such as blind trout and salamanders, and an array of formations with names like flowstone, helictite, stalagmite and stalactite. Most of the Arkansas caves come with a story, usually about how the cave was discovered.
"Most of the Arkansas caves come with a story, usually about how the cave was discovered."
Around some swirl legends and ghost tales. Still others recall the days when saber tooth tigers and ancient tribes used the caves for shelter or when desperados used the caves to hide from lawmen and from fellow criminals.
In addition to guided tours in show caves, Hurricane River Cave, Cosmic Caverns, War Eagle Cavern and Blanchard Springs Caverns offer guided wild caving tours for the physically fit. Hikers exploring the mountains near the Buffalo National River may also encounter wild caves such as the Lost Valley Trail Cave that houses a 35 foot waterfall.
Some wild caves in the Ozark Mountains require permits or guides for entry. Hikers may also come across cave openings with grated entries. These grates are designed to protect the endangered species whose year-round homes are in the Arkansas caves.
All of the Arkansas tour caves are "living." This means the formations, which result when minerals are deposited by dripping water, are still changing. The caves are wet and frequently muddy.
Inside temperatures, although varying from cave to cave, remain the same year-round in each cave, usually ranging from the upper 50s to low 60s. In the summers, the coolness inside is a welcome relief from the warm Ozark sun, while in the winter, the cave interior feels warm. Normally, a light jacket is all that is needed for comfort.
Arkansas Tour Caves
Operated by the U.S. Forest Service - offers two guided tours on trails that lead visitors through massive caverns filled with ever-changing formations. Also offering Wild Cave tour for the physically fit. Located in Mountain View.
The site of the Ozarks' largest underground lake, offers a one-hour guided tour through subterranean rooms and across an underground bridge; gemstone panning. Located on Arkansas Highway 21 N., Berryville.
Radio headphones guide you through the cave as you pass amazing formations of stalactites and stalagmites. Easy access ramps take you to this Arkansas cave, and a non-strenuous trail leads you through it. Located six miles east of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and is open daily all year.
Take an hour out of your schedule and visit one of Arkansas' best kept secrets! You will go on a guided, non-strenuous tour in a well-lit cavern full of exciting history with legends of a hidden treasure. Make sure you bring your camera to capture this wonderful cavern and its formations. Guided tours, historic gift and rock shop and gem stone panning also available.
Located on a secluded site used by the Indians hundreds of years before the first European settlers came to the area. Every effort has been made to leave the caverns and ground in their natural state. Offers 40-minute tour; gemstone panning. Located in War Eagle near Rogers on Beaver Lake.
Also find out about the famous Arkansas cave house, located in the Ozark Mountains, where you can host a wedding, dance or reunion inside an actual cave!