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Top 6 Things to do at Natural Bridge Caverns

Cave in Texas. Natural Bridge Caverns.
Explore the Castle of the White Giants. Photo Credit: Natural Bridge Caverns

Known as the largest commercial cave in Texas, the 60-foot natural limestone bridge at its opening gave the caverns its name. As an easy day trip for San Antonio or Austin, it is a showstopper. This is a popular attraction year-round, thanks to its moderate temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit with 99% humidity. Here are the top things to do at Natural Bridge Caverns.

Top Things to do at Natural Bridge Caverns

Take a Cave Tour or Two
Explore the Twisted Trails Zip Rails and Ropes Course
Sluice for Gemstones
Run its Maze
Grab an Ice Cream 
Attend a Special Event
Top Cave Tours in Texas
Hidden Wonder Caves at Natural Bridge Caverns
Part of the Hidden Wonder tour. credit: Catherine Parker

Standard Cave Tours

Natural Bridge Caverns offers several tours though all include stairs and are not suitable for strollers. It is a wet cave so the formations are growing, as such it is important not to touch the cave features.

Discovery Tour

This is the tour to take if it’s your first visit. It goes through the first section discovered and uses ramps and steps to get through the caverns. It provides an excellent introduction to Texas Caves, like how they are formed. 

Visitors will see stalagmites and stalactites, soda straws and flowstone. All created by water, Natural Bridge Caverns is a wet cave and features are still being created. 

The Discovery Tour features are lighted and the tour lasts about an hour. Guests will walk about 3/4 of a mile and this tour includes stairs. The tour goes down 180 feet into the cavern. 

Adult tour prices start at $26 and kids are $17. 

Hidden Wonders Tour

This tour just opened in 2023 and features an entirely new section of the cave. The tour is best for those who have been on the Discovery Tour.

We saw the new chambers with its stalagmites and stalactites, soda straws and flowstone along with broomsticks. The features in each portion of the cave are different. To me, the Hidden Wonders Tour showcases more delicate cave features.

In addition, this tour offers a light show at the end along with a space large enough for a ballroom (Natural Bridge Caverns holds events in this space). For a unique way to exit the cave, visitors ride a conveyor out of the cave. It’s like the belt ski resorts use for their beginner hills. 

For Hidden Wonder Tours, participants will be walking 1/2 a mile, including stairs and it last for 70-75 minutes. This tour goes 160 feet into the cave and guests can ride the conveyor out or climb out on an incline. 

Adult tour prices start at $28 and kids are $18.25

Both cave tours can be combined and there is a combo ticket. Adult combo ticket prices start at $46.26 and kids are $30. 

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Adventure Tours

For those who want to get down and dirty, an adventure tour is the way to go. Each lasts several hours and participants will be low crawling and in the mud (remember the cave is wet). 

St. Mary’s Adventure Tour

This is a new tour exploring the wild cave section of the Discovery Cave. Participants will see black calcite, stunning calcite box work along with the stalagmites and stalactites Natural Bridge Caverns is known. 

During the St. Mary’s Adventure Tour participants will use a roping technique that allows for traversing, ascending and descending cave formations. 

This cave adventure last 2 to 3 hours and reservations are required. It costs $129.99 per person.  

Discovery Adventure Tour

To explore like the cave’s founders, take the Discovery Adventure Tour. Like in the 1960s, participants will explore the wild cave off the Discovery Tour without lights, paths or guardrails. 

The Discovery Adventure Tour is guaranteed to get everyone dirty. This cave exploration last 3 to 4 hours and reservations are required. It costs $169.99 per person. 

Both adventure tours can be combined for a full day of cave exploring. The COMBO Adventure Tour cost $249.99 per person and reservations are required. 

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Natural Bridge Caverns ropes course
Four stories above the ground is the Twisted Trails Zip Rails and Ropes Course. credit: Catherine Parker

Above Ground Activities at Natural Bridge Caverns

Twisted Trails Zip Rails and Ropes Course 

With heights of 60 feet, guests can weave in and out of 50 elements while strapped into a safety harness. Features include climbing walls, rails to ride (kinda like a zip line), rope bridges and climbing features across four levels. Guests have 45 minutes to experience the Twisted Trails.

Size and weight restrictions apply. 

There is even a miniature version for younger kids. 

sluicing at Natural Bridge Caverns.
Pan of gemstones with the sluice. credit: Catherine Parker

Mining Company

Head to a gift shop and purchase a bag of jewel-stubbed dirt. Outside visitors will find a sluice with running water and screens.

Kids (and adults too) can dump their dirt into the screen and magically the semi-precious stones will start to appear. This is one of the top things to do at Natural Bridge Caverns.

This is one of the better mining activities out there with lots of space at the sluice.

AMAZE-n course at Natural Bridge Caverns.
Try the AMAZE-n Ranch Roundup at Natural Bridge Caverns. credit: Catherine Parker


AMAZE’n Ranch Roundup

Great for all ages, the 5,000-square foot maze has visitors meandering through looking for several checkpoints and clocking their time in an effort to be the first in their group to finish.

At each corner of the maze there are covered lookouts to aid in solving the maze. It was fun for my entire good for teens, adults and grandparents. 

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Where to Eat at Natural Bridge Caverns

Big Daddy’s Sweets Treats and Brew

This is an old-fashioned parlor and general store. Visitors can buy lemonade, hand-dipped ice cream, and fudge along with beer and wine. 

This is located between the above-ground attractions. 

Caverns Cafe

Located inside the visitor center, visitors will find hotdogs, pizza, chicken tenders, burgers and more.

There are also picnic areas at Natural Bridge Caverns. 

Special Events at Natural Bridge Caverns

With events scattered throughout the year, visitors can enjoy more than the cavern tours. 

Bracken Bat Flight

Teaming up with nearby Bracken Cave, visitors can experience one of its summertime bat flight programs. In the evening, one of the largest emergences of Mexican Free Tail bats exits Bracken Cave.  

This is a protected area and only a few dates are released. 

Cavern Fall Fest

Each fall the area is decorated with hay bails and pumpkins. Costumes are even encouraged. Live music is also provided. 

Christmas at the Caverns

Decorated with lights and a 30-foot tree, Natural Bridge Caverns is decorated for the holidays. 

History of Natural Bridge Caverns 

Back in 1960, four college students discovered the caverns on a working ranch owned by the Wuest family. Investing in everything, the family developed the caverns. 

In 1964, the cavern opened to the public. Then Texas Governor, John Connally dedicated the caverns as “A jewel in the crown of Texas attractions”. 

Over the years, the exploration of the cavern has continued. In 1971, Natural Bridge Caverns was declared a National Natural Landmark. In 2004, it was named to the National Register of Historic Places. 

Located at 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, northwest of San Antonio. Open daily with seasonal hours. Natural Bridge Caverns offers free parking. 

Located in between San Antonio or Austin, Natural Bridge Caverns is the largest commercial cave in Texas. The 60-foot natural limestone bridge at its opening gave the caverns its name. Here are the top things to do at Natural Bridge Caverns. #Texas

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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