I wanted to write an article on Arkansas' show caves. I didn't and here's why. I've visited four of them. Although the caves themselves are all interesting and picturesque and they provide a way to get out of the summer heat for an hour or so, I found that I couldn't write an interesting article about them and I was unable to take photos that did any of them justice. So here it comes, quick and dirty.
Arkansas has nine show caves all in the Ozarks. Show caves are like roller coasters in that some say, "seen one, seen 'em all." Others just can't get enough. There are also hundreds upon hundreds of caves in the Ozarks that have not been commercially developed. Explore those at your own risk. If you come across a cave in the wilderness that has a locked iron grating on it, the gate was put there to protect some endangered species, usually a bat or blind fish or exotic cave cricket. A reader (Ed Gower) dropped me a note to let me know that the National Forest Service also blocks cave entrances to protect Indian artifacts and cave paintings. Here's a listing of commercially developed Arkansas caverns with handrails, walkways and guided tours.
- BLANCHARD SPRINGS CAVERNS, P.O. Box 1279, Mountain View, AR 72560, 870-757-2211, Fax: 870-757-2675. Phone 1-888-757-2246 (toll free) or 870-757-2211. Best developed cave in the state, best facilities, federally supported park. Three tours, one year round, one summer only and the Wild Cave Tour by reservation.Related website.
- BULL SHOALS CAVERNS, P.O. Box 444, Bull Shoals, AR 72619, 870-445-7177, Fax 870-445-3011. Next to Mountain Village 1890 attraction. Related website.
- COSMIC CAVERN, Rt. 4, Box 392, Berryville, AR 72616, 870-749-2298. Related website.
- HURRICANE RIVER CAVE, P.O. Box 240, Highway 65, Pindall, AR 72669, 870-429-6200, Related website.
- MYSTIC CAVERNS/CRYSTAL DOME, P.O. Box 13, Dogpatch, AR 72648, 870-743-1739. Related website.
- OLD SPANISH TREASURE CAVE, 14290 North Highway 59, Sulphur Springs, AR 72768, 501-787-6508, Related website.
- WAR EAGLE CAVERN, 21494 Cavern Drive, Rogers, AR 72756, 501-789-2909. Related website.
- ONYX CAVE, Eureka Springs, 501-253-9321. Recorded tour heard through short range fm headsets. Button and doll museum next to gift shop.
- CAVE CITY CAVE, highway 167 in Cave City. There's a motel built on top of it. I've stopped by several times, but there has yet to be anybody in the office to sell me a tour. I've heard that if you rent a room (actually a cabin of eccentric stonework), the cave tour is free.
Another Arkansas Show Cave Website...
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