Arkansas is home to 2,000 documented caves. Eight of these caves are show caves and open to the public for touring. The underground world of caves is a great activity for all ages to explore during all seasons. Check out these caves Arkansas has to offer and make sure to stop in and check them out on your next visit.
Just one hour from Eureka Springs is Hurricane River Caverns. The cave is open daily with no reservations needed. Hurricane River Cave became a show cave back in 1932. As recently as 3 years ago, new passageways have been discovered in the cave. They offer 4 different tours: a self-guided cave tour, and 3 extreme guided cave tours. The extreme tours include Deep North, the East Passage, and Mill Creek. Those participating in the extreme tour should expect vertical climbs, varying terrain, and crouching down. The Hurricane River Cave is currently closed for renovations.
Eureka Springs is home to Onyx Cave. Located just 6 miles east of downtown is Onyx Cave. The 57-degree cave offers 30-minute self-guided tours. Those visiting the cave should expect to maneuver stairs. Their seasonal hours are from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and Labor Day to Memorial Day, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Adult admission to Onyx Cave is$7.50 and child tickets are $3.50. Kids ages 3 and under are admitted for free.
Arkansas largest privately owned show cave is Cosmic Cavern in Berryville, Arkansas. Cosmic Cavern is known as one of the state’s most beautiful, natural attractions and was awarded the 2014 Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor. The cave remains at 64 degrees year round. Their tour takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes and shows the 2 bottomless cave lakes inside. Visitors must be able to walk stairs even though a majority of the tour is flat. Other activities on site include gem mining, fossil digging and a visitor’s center with gift shop. Cosmic Caverns is open all seasons from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on weekends in January and February. Adult tickets are $15.50 and children ages 5-12 are $5.00.
If you find yourself in Bull Shoals, Arkansas, check out Bull Shoals Caverns. The 59-degree cave will open March 15th and remain open through October 31st. Tours at Bull Shoals Caverns can last around 45 minutes. Adult tickets are $14.00, children ages 6-11 are $7.00 and kids 5 and under are admitted free. Be sure to visit the gift shop and partake in the gemstone panning.
Mystic Cavern and Crystal Dome is located near Harrison, Arkansas. Those visiting the caves will see the eight-story dome in the Crystal Dome and hear the story of the “spider monkey”. Guests should allow 1 hour and 20 minutes to tour both of these caves. Cave tours leave every 35 minutes. Tickets can be purchased for both caves, or just one depending on your preference.
No matter which cave you choose to visit in Arkansas, be sure to make Arsenic and Old Lace bed and breakfast in Eureka Springs your pit stop for the evening. The Queen Anne Victorian style mansion offers 5 bedrooms complete with private bathroom, and a wrap-around veranda overlooking the Ozark hills. Innkeepers Doug and Beverly Breitling begin each morning with a gourmet breakfast so you’ll be ready to start another day out and about. For reservation information, please call 479-253-5454.