Thursday, August 8, 2019

Top 5 Popular Caves to Explore in the Texas Hill Country

Top 5 Popular Caves to Explore in the Texas Hill Country blog cover image

Underground exploration looks thrilling when watching stars like Indiana Jones travel through different caverns in movies, but did you know you can explore various caves yourself?

There are several different caves waiting to be explored in the Texas Hill Country. You can undergo many different adventures to learn more about how these caves were formed and experience firsthand what life is like underground. Check out the top 5 caves in Texas Hill Country that you can see for yourself:

cave paintings lit up along a path

1. Inner Space Cavern - Georgetown, Texas

Breakdown of the Caves- These exciting caves were found back in 1963 when workers of the Texas Highway Department started building the infamous I-35 highway. After the cave was discovered, a spelunking team dove down to explore the caverns. Upon careful examination, it was decided that these caves had a lot to offer. People knew they could interest and entertain the public, so they officially opened it for public viewing in 1966.

The History Behind the Caves- Scientists later discovered that in the Ice Age era, many animals would explore around the cavern only to eventually find themselves trapped inside. There were over 40 different species’ fossils found inside of this cave. Over 10 of the species found have currently gone extinct.

Tours Offered- When visiting the caves, you have your choice between three tours. If you explore the Adventure Tour, you can safely walk down a lit cave with a clear path as the tour guide explains everything you are looking at or are about to see. If you’re searching for a tour that offers more adventure and excitement, you can head down the Hidden Passages Tour. On this tour, you can visit a trail and pathway that aren’t developed very well or lit on their own. It’s advised you carry a flashlight along this tour due to low lighting.

If neither of those tours sounds daring enough, then the Wild Cave Tour may be perfect for you. Explore the dark, deep caves as you walk through a path that is completely off the usual trail. Be sure to bring a buddy on this tour with you, as it does get a little intimidating to go through alone.

a shaded pathway leading through natural arches

2. Longhorn Cavern State Park - Burnet, Texas

Breakdown of the Caves- If you are ready to experience all the beauty that a cave and the surrounding area in the Texas Hill Country may hold, the Longhorn Cavern State Park is an excellent choice. If you’re also searching for an adventure, these caverns are perfect for that, as well. Not only is this area home to an official National Natural Landmark, but there are different tales of treasure hidden in the cave’s walls, as well as legends of lost children.

The History Behind the Caves- The cave opened up in 1938. It was once housed by the Confederates during the Civil War. This was the best place for them to live as it held the secret ingredient they needed for their gunpowder: bat droppings. Later on, these taverns were transformed into secret speakeasies during the Prohibition era.

Tours Offered- There are even more crazy tales and stories told every day during their walkable tours. Grab a flashlight and join in the fun as you listen to your guide talk about the many events that took place inside the caves.

glowing stalactites hanging down over a pool of water

3. Cascade Caverns - Boerne, Texas

Breakdown of the Caves- These caves opened to the public in the 1930s. You can roam about these wondrous caves to learn more about their stories and histories. Sometimes though, you have to experience it to believe it. This is why these caverns also offer campsites on the land.

Come visit for a day then camp out for the night as you and your family learn more about the ground the caverns were found beneath. You’ll have a blast experiencing the gorgeous Texas Hill Country in the nighttime.

Tours Offered- These caverns were temporarily closed in World War II when it was a different type of attraction called “Peep in the Deep.” The way people could view and explore the caves was a little different than what we’re used to today. Visitors would climb in buckets and ride them down to the bottom. Luckily, the cave tours offered today aren’t as risky or dangerous. They’re offered almost every day as guided flashlight tours.

various cave features lit from below

4. Cave Without a Name - Boerne, Texas

Breakdown of the Caves- These caves are just as mysterious as the name implies. There are several different rooms available known as ‘formation rooms”. Specifically, there is one room located inside called the Queen’s Throne Room. In this room, you may have the chance to celebrate the different events hosted in the room.

The History Behind the Caves- This cave was opened in 1939. The story behind its name is incredibly fascinating. The owner decided to let others take a crack at giving these caves a name. A boy took a look at the cave himself and told the owner that it was beautiful and much too exotic to even have a name. The owner loved this idea so much that he awarded the boy with a prize and declared it the Cave Without a Name.

It was discovered when people were trying to catch a goat that ended up falling into the opening of this cave. Later on, it eventually became utilized as a distillery that sold moonshine and operated as a speakeasy during the Prohibition.

Tours Offered- Explore different guided tours that will walk you through different underground passages inside the cave. These exciting tours are approximately an hour long.

5. Natural Bridge Caverns - San Antonio, Texas

Breakdown of the Caves- These caverns are incredibly exotic and gorgeous. After a giant sinkhole had caved in years ago, a giant slab of limestone fell that stretched around 60 ft wide. This can now be found hanging across the entrance of the cave.

Touring the cave isn’t the only way you can have tons of fun here. There are other rides and attractions around the caverns that you and your family can enjoy. You’ll experience entertaining games, zip lines, fossil and gem mining, or explore the maze. There are also candy stores along the way as well as a restaurant called the Cavern Cafe inside the Visitor Center.

The History Behind the Caves- It was found by a team of spelunkers from St. Mary University in 1960. These caverns are incredibly large and very popular among people all around the Texas Hill Country area.

Tours Offered- There are several different tours available to visitors. They offer tours such as the Discovery Tour, Hidden Passages Tour, and the Lantern Tour. There are different shapes formed inside of these caves that you can learn more about while on the tour as they have a deep history about them.

By taking a trip to the caves in the Texas Hill Country area, you’ll experience a wide variety of adventures with friends and family. Discover all that these caverns and caves have to offer by going on thrill-seeking tours or exploring the historic land around the caves. You’re bound to have all kinds of fun no matter which cave you choose.