Deep under the ground in the Texas Hill Country, underground explorers could find any one of the 13,000 caves, sinkholes and springs dotting the state. Many are located on private property and only a handful of the caves are Show Caves, or developed caves with organized tours. Read on for the top caves to explore in Texas, including two caves with wild cave tours.
Top 10 Caves to Explore in Texas
Natural Bridge Caverns
Four college students discovered the caverns in 1960. Though the National Park Service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife were consulted, ultimately the landowners developed Natural Bridge Caverns. As one of the top caves to explore in Texas, it offers more than a cave tour.
The 60-foot natural limestone bridge at its opening is a showstopper and that where the cave got its name. As an easy daytrip for San Antonio or Austin, this is a popular attraction year-round, thanks to its moderate temperature.
Located at 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, northwest of San Antonio. Several tours available with adult admission starting at $24.50 with demand pricing so the earlier the tickets are purchased the lower the price.
Wonder Cave was the first show cave in Texas when it opened in 1903. With its location in San Marcos, it is another top cave to explore in Texas. Millions of years ago, underground earthquake created Wonder Cave and visitors can see the Balcones Fault Line.
Located at 1000 Prospect St. in San Marcos. Adult admission starts at $23.95 and youth admission (4 – 11) is $17.95 with kids 3 and younger entering for free.
Caverns of Sonora
Early in the 20th-century a family dog chased a raccoon into an opening in the rocks that turned out to be a cave. As it was explored, more of the cavern was discovered.
Considered by many to be the showiest of the Texas show caves and one of the top caves to explore in Texas. The crystal cave glitters as light bounces off the formations. With its location between San Antonio and El Paso on Interstate 10, the Caverns of Sonora makes an ideal road trip stop.
Located at 1711 Pvt Road 4468, 15 miles southwest of Sonora. Adult admission to the Crystal Palace Tour is $24 and kids (4 -11) are $22 with kids 3 and younger entering for free.
Inner Space Caverns
Curious boys and dogs in pursuit of an escaping animal tend to find many of the caves in Texas. Though the Texas Department of Transportation discovered Inner Space Caverns, located in Georgetown, north of Austin.
In 1963 while drilling core samples, the crew lost one of its drill bits. Used to evaluate the stability of a proposed overpass site, a drill bit suddenly dropped into an abyss. Soon after a man descended down the hole on a rope attached to a car bumper. Soon after, the caves was explore by scientists.
Located at 4200 South I-35 Frontage Road, in Georgetown, 25 miles from Austin, Texas. Adult admission is $22.95 and kids (4 – 12) are $16.95 with kids 3 and under entering for free.
Cave Without a Name
The Cave without a Name features stalagmites and stalactites along with other geological formations made out of limestone. It’s a National Natural Landmark and a popular venue for musical performances.
Inside the Throne Room, visitors can enjoy a musical performance to remember. About once a month, the Cave Without a Name hosts musical performances, some seasonal. Admission is $30 per person.
Located at 325 Kreutzberg Road, 11 miles northeast of Boerne. Adult admission is$12 and kids (6 – 12) are $10 with kids 5 and younger entering for free.
More Caves to Explore
During the Civil War, men harvested bat guano used for gun powder manufacturing. Then the Civilian Conservation Corps shoveled the guano during its tenure from 1934 to 1938.It built many of the park features too.
Located at 6211 Park Road 4 South, in Burnet, 65 miles northwest of Austin. Adult admission is $21.24 and kids (4 – 12) are $17.25, Park admittance is free.
Cascade Caverns opened in 1932 as a show cave originally known as Hester’s Cave. The caverns closed due to the gasoline rationing during WWII. Then re-opened during the late 1940s for tours.
Located at 226 Cascade Cavern in Boerne. Cascade Caverns offers several tours though the Down Under Tour is the most popular and lasts one hour. Adult admission is $19.95 and kids (4 – 11) are $14.95 with kids 3 and younger entering for free.
The Devils Sinkhole top attraction are the Mexican Free Tail Bats that live in the sinkhole. Up to 3 million bats can emerge each night from Spring until Fall. To protect the bat colony, visitors can’t access the sink hole, that measures up to 320-feet wide and is 350-feet deep.
Located at 101 Sweeten St. in Rockspring. Adult admission is $14, kids (4 – 14) are $6 with kids 3 and younger entering for free for an evening bat flight program. Reservations are required.
Wild Cave Tours in Texas
Not all caves feature developed trails and lighting. Sotake a guided tour with an experienced guide to explore the wild caves.Visitors must wear hiking boots and bring sources of light for their visit.
Kickapoo Cavern State Park
With 20 known caves on the property it’s a cave system. The largest caves are Kickapoo Caverns and the Stuart Bat Cave, home to Mexican free-tail bats.
The 3-hour wild cave tour explores the undeveloped cave. Though unauthorized exploration of the caves is prohibited.
Located at 20930 RM 674 in Brackettville, 146 miles west of San Antonio. Reservations required for the tour and it is held on Saturdays only. Admission is $10 per person. Park admission is $3 for adults (12 and older).
Colorado Bend State Park
Colorado Bend State Park offers 400 caves, not just one cave. For an introduction into cave exploring suitable for families with kids over 4, reserve the Discovery Tour. More rigorous cave tours are available.
Located at 2236 Park Hill Dr in Bend in the Hill Country. Park admission is required and adults are $5 with kids 12 and younger entering for free. Cave admission is $12 for those 4 and older for a 45-minute tour. Cave reservations are required and a wild cave tour is available.
Bats and White-Nose Syndrome
Visitors can not wear any clothing, this includes shoes, that has been in another cave due to White-Nose Syndrome. Camera and camera equipment will need to disinfected if its been in another cave.
White-Nose Syndrome kills hibernating bat colonies across the U.S. and Canada. A fungus that thrives in low temperatures and high humidity that’s killed 6 million bats since it’s discovery in 2006.