10 Captivating Caves in Arkansas

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The reign of marvellous Caverns and Caves in Arkansas has long existed, and it distinguishes itself as the best tourist destination.

10 Captivating Caves in Arkansas

The naturally carved caverns from a rocky mountain or cavity in the ground have stuck out as the magnificent Caves in Arkansas.

These caves have caught the eye of tourists and adventurous adherents for their lively and thrilling scenic landscapes.

Arkansas, Ozark has hidden treasure locked underneath the ground and in the goofy embrace of the rocky mountains.

Step into these caves to take a ride back to the ancient world!

1. Mystic Cavern and Crystal Dome

Mystic Cavern and Crystal Dome
Crystal Dome

The Mystic Caverns and Crystal Dome are settled amongst the cities of Jasper and Harrison Arkansas. It attracts tourists all year round, except January when the caves flood with water.

The precise history of Mystic Caverns’ existence is unknown, but it can be traced back to the 1830s during that time when the region flowed with an abundant settlement.

Previously known as Mansion Caves later, in 1920 received official recognition as one of the best caves in Arkansas, and since then, it has been accepting enthusiastic tourists.

For years, to make the caves convenient for visitors, the caves’ development took a steady pace. Along the way, in the mid-1960, a bulldozer accidentally hit the land hard, which led to the discovery of the beautiful Crystal Dome Cavern.

The Crystal Dome is somewhat 400 ft (120m) away from the Mystic Cavern, and hence they are often referred to as the Twin Caves.

The thick walls of the rocky caves withstand the temperature of 580 F throughout the year.

Arkansas pristine caves have left visitors amazed with their white dripstones like calcite and other natural formations.

2. Old Spanish Treasure

The mysterious cave located in Sulphur Springs, Arkansas, infamous as the Old Spanish Treasure, is endowed with limestone formations.

It conceals the secrets of the legend Conquistador that dates from 350 years.

After discovering the Old Spanish Treasure cave, it was previously envisaged that the Spanish Conquistadors that travelled across the world hunting for riches sought refuge in the northwest Ozarks.

They stashed up the treasure in these caves as their body took the brunt of illness and malnutrition.

A Spaniard from Madrid, in 1885, assailed the Old Spanish Treasure to unseal the secrets of the cave following the directions from some old maps. The search for the magnificent cave was not a victory.

With time, a good excavation led to the findings of various weapons, helmets, armour, and some gold coins.

Drought turned out to be a boon in discovering the buried rooms and other details hidden by the cave. The treasure hunting off the cave stalled the public’s access to this ancient gem until the 1930s.

Open Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday – 9 am to 5 pm, Sundays – 12 pm to 5 pm

3. Onyx Cave

6 miles away from the east of Eureka spring resides the Onyx Cave which has received public recognition since 1893 and is considered the oldest cave in Arkansas.

Onyx Caves are the show caves in Arkansas, and throughout the year, the temperature varies from 56F to 580 F. It’s free of complex structures like other caves in Arkansas

These caves have only one opening for visitors, and as a result, it’s the only way in and out.

Unlike its name, these caves in Arkansas don’t have onyx. Instead, they have sheetlike deposits of calcite known as the flowstone and hence the name Onyx Cave.

Tourists are provided with a pair of headsets as they make their way past the caves, and it gives them a guided tour of the chambers and detailed knowledge of the caves.

Attractions: Witches Fireplace, Friendly Dragon, and Gift Shops.

Open Hours: 9:00 to 4:00 pm

4. Bull Shoals Caverns

The oldest limestone cavern, top listed in the caves in Arkansas, is Bull Shoals Caverns, situated in the north-central of Arkansas.

As per the geologists, the Ordovician period was the time to form the magnificent structures, the caverns.

Caverns were carved out of the water as they flowed past the rocks’ cracks and nooks nearly 350 million years ago.

Human existence was detected in this cave from 300 B.C., which was traced through the carbon dating process, and later on, the Native Americans and tribes inhabited the space around 10,000 years back.

The gushing streams and glistening waterfalls are graced in the Bull Shoals Caverns, projecting nature’s exceptional creation to tourists.

The natural formation, namely the stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, cave pearl, and many other formations, are found here.

Bull Shoals Caverns was admitted for public access and tourism in 1958.

5. War Eagle Cavern

War Eagle Cavern
War Eagle Cavern

Step on the hiking trails of Arkansas as the shore of Beaver lake opens the door to the stunning entrance of the War Eagle Cavern that beats the uniqueness of any other cave in Arkansas.

Like the Eureka Springs, along the borders of Rogers, the largest cavern of Arkansas is stationed, which never fails to amaze the tourists with its spectacular beauty.

It is believed that Indians dwelled in these caves hundreds of years before the settlers came in. The caves were officialized as tourist destinations in 1978.

During the Great Depression, many families sought refuge in these caves due to the availability of fresh water.

War Eagle Caves offers two types of tours – a walking tour that whizzes past the seven feet tall Crystal Hallways and a spelunker tour that gets the visitor all wet and muddy through their adventurous ride past the cave.

Open Hours: Daily 9:30 am to 5:00 pm Sundays: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

6. Hurricane River Cave

The caves in Arkansas faces the beautifully flowing river
Buffalo National River

The Harrison and Marshall cities of Arkansas embrace the mysterious but venturesome gem of a cave, the Hurricane River Cavern.

Concealed in the depths of the Ozark mountains, a few minutes away from Buffalo National River, this cavern sets up an amazing trip site to spend a great time with friends and family whilst enjoying the adventurous tours reserved for tourists.

The Hurricane Branch has turned out to be a centre of attraction for its serpentine passageways to the underground aquifer, which has eroded and ended at Buffalo National River.

Hurricane River Cavern has categorized the tours into normal self-guided tours, extreme tours, and wild tours.

The East Passage, Deep North, and Mill Creek are well-known extreme tours that keep enthusiastic adventurers hopping from one challenge to another.

The bold and spunky activities include sticky, gooey clay, vertical climbs, disconcerting ravine crossings, stumbling, and many more.

Highly skilled and qualified guides are available to impart detailed and accurate knowledge of Hurricane River Cave.

Open Hours: Opens Daily at 9:00 am from March to October.

7. Blanchard Springs Caverns

Blanchard Springs Caverns
Blanchard Springs Caverns

Somewhat 2 miles away from Highway near Mountain View, Stone County locates in one of Arkansas’s aesthetic caves.

The only Tourist Cave operated by the US Forest Service is the Blanchard Springs Caverns in the Ozark St. Francis National Forest.

Blanchard Springs Caverns has crystalline mineral deposits from the dripping water, which got transformed into flowstones, stalagmites, and stalactites, painting a spectacular picture of the cavern.

Exploring these caves in Arkansas turns out to be a fun experience of strolling past the lovely decorated chambers, climbing and crawling the rocky mountains and the clay mud, the least developed part of the cavern.

The dripstone trail, the Living cave, discovery trails, and wild cave tours take you past the four walls of rocks and into history.

Open Hours: Daily 9:30 am to 6:00 pm

Tuesdays are closed.

9. Cosmic Caverns

cosmic caverns
Cosmic Cave

The most stunning and largest privately owned caves in Arkansas are the Cosmic Caverns of Berryville. The show cave, discovered in 1845, was developed and recognized as a tourist attraction in 1927.

Cave Popcorn, stalagmites, stalactites, and flowstone are commonly found in Arkansas caves. Still, the two glimmering lakes whose depths are left undiscovered appear to be an eye candy of the Cosmic Caverns.

The multitude of soda straws about 9 feet long is considered to be the longest formation in Ozark.

Ozark blind salamanders, the frequently seen living creatures of this cave, welcome the tourists in the warm walls with its enduring temperatures of about 640F.

The Silent Splendor is a recently discovered attraction, and a trip to this gorgeous destination is a must if you are in Arkansas.

Open Hours: Everyday – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

9. Lost Valley Trail Cave

Lost Valley Trail Cave
Eden Falls

Lost Valley zigzags’ scenic trail through the spectacular creek, the rocky boulders leading up to the beautiful Eden falls, ends at the Cobb cave entrance.

After an eventful trail, exploring the dark depths of Cobb Cave gives you an exciting experience.

It is believed that the Lost Valley previously was an underground cavern, and various natural processes have altered it into a long beautiful trail leaving behind the remnants in the form of Cobb Cave and a cave underground.

A half-mile trail is characterized by sheer cliffs, colourful wildflowers, densely wooded forest, and a glistening waterfall.

Winters are the best with gushing waterfalls, but as summer makes its way, the Clark Creek tributary of Buffalo River goes dry; nevertheless, the hiking journey continues to be cheerful.

Lost Valley Trail gives a wild caving tour to Eden Falls, Cobb Cave, leading to an underground cave.

10. Diamond Cave

One of the caves’ natural wonders in Arkansas is three miles cavern away from Jasper County, infamous as Diamond Cave.

The stunning underground display of stalagmites, stalactites, and flowstone racing miles down the ceiling draws a lovely picture of the cave’s interior.

The discovery of this cave took place when Samuel, along with his teammate from Arkansas General Assembly, went hunting for a bear and followed his dog.

Diamond cave probably got its name from the crystal clear water which flowed through the roof, containing plenty of minerals that also gave out multi-coloured glimmers of light.

This cave is labelled as the best cave in Arkansas for its brilliant mineral formation, unusual glistening colours, spacious chambers, and natural beauty.

Many corners of Diamond caves are left unexplored; thus, geologists are still discovering its treasure.

Other Interesting Places to Visit

1. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, founded by Alice Walton, is nestled between the lush green nature.

A variety of paintings and art worth millions of dollars were acquired from across the world by Walton.

Architect Moshe Safdie skillfully designed the museum creating trails and gardens throughout the spacious grounds.

This museum was inaugurated to the public in the year 2011. Whilst visiting the caves in Arkansas, a trip to this captivating museum is a must.

2. Thorncrown Capel

A halt at Throwncrown Capel, the majestic religious architecture of modern times, is a must on your way to the Onyx Cave of the Eureka Springs.

The 100 tons of native stones hold the 48 feet blend of wooden and glass structure that rises to the Ozark sky’s heights.

The fascinating architecture by E. Fay Jones has received millions of visitors since its establishment in 1980.

3. Garvan Woodland Gardens

Garvan Woodland Gardens
Garvan Woodland Gardens

Embraced in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas are the Garvan Woodland Gardens, best described as the blooming botanical gardens.

This blossoming garden of the University of Arkansas alongside the lofty mountains and upstanding pine trees reminds me of the picturesque canopy.

The beautifully designed landscape of the Garvan Woodland botanical garden creates an impressive, picture-perfect view.

4. Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

The home of many big cat families, along with other wild species, is the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.

The 459 acres of area in Eureka Springs of Arkansas nurtures and shelters the native animals that have been neglected and abused.

Turpentine Creek is a non-profit sanctuary verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries in 2015.

5. Hot Springs Mountain Tower

Hot Springs Mountain Tower
Hot Springs Mountain Tower

The 216 feet high Hot Springs Mountain Tower provides a magnificent view of the Ouachita Mountains, the Diamond Lake region, and many such places situated 140 miles away.

This observation tower was constructed thrice using lattice steel and later on became a tourist attraction in 1983. Hot Springs Mountain Tower takes you to the highest peak displaying the wide beauty of Arkansas below.

Bottom Line

Travel to the earth’s hidden grounds as you discover the mystical treasures of the caverns and caves in Arkansas. Have fun exploring!

Suggested Reads:

Caverns in PA: 10 Fascinating Caves to Explore

Best Spanish Restaurants in NYC



5 Haunted Caves In The USA You Shouldn't Explore
USA Tales

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