Arkansas is a South Central U.S. state bordering the Mississippi River. With terrain encompassing rivers, hot springs, caves, mountains, and more, Arkansas is famed for its abundant park and vast wilderness. It’s well-known as the only public diamond mine station in the world.
Wondering whether Arkansas has any caves and caverns? The rugged Ozarks region in the northwest part of the state has stunning hiking trails and limestone caves like Blanchard Springs Cavern. Each of these cave formations can be found elsewhere, but Arkansas is where you will find other-worldly limestone formations, making it a fascinating place to visit.
Check out these 10 incredible caves and caverns you should explore in Arkansas.
Located in northern Arkansas near the town of Berryville, Cosmic Cavern is a world rarity. John Moore discovered Cosmic Cavern in 1845 while searching for lead. The cave is best known for its two large and deepest underground lakes, where divers have never found the bottoms. Rainfall keeps changing the water level in the cave, either filling or emptying accordingly.
The cave has numerous formations, including helictites, cave popcorn, flowstone, stalagmites, stalactites, cave bacon, and soda straws. After normal hours, wild cave tours are offered for deep divers who want to explore the cave’s unknown depths.
- Address: 6386 AR-21, Berryville, AR 72616, United States
- Website: Cosmic Cavern
- Phone number: +1 870-749-2298
- Entrance fee: $20 for adults 13+. $10 for children between ages 5-12. Free for children below 4.
- Google Maps link: Cosmic Cavern
Onyx Cave Park
Onyx Cave Park in Arkansas is one of the most spectacular attractions you’d ever come across. Take cave-guided tours and experience a simple walkthrough of complex caverns with awe-inspiring rock formations. When you are in Eureka Springs and are looking for “things to do,” Onyx Cave Park should be your “must-see” destination.
The cave was partially utilized in 1969 to film a few scenes in the B-movie It’s Alive.’ So, you may be familiar with some cave chambers if you’ve watched the movie.
- Address: 338 Onyx Cave Lane, Eureka Springs, AR 72632, United States
- Website: Onyx Cave Park
- Phone number: +1 479-253-9321
- Entrance fee: Admission for adults 13+ is $7.50, children between ages 4 to 12 is $3.50, and free for children below 3.
- Google Maps link: Onyx Cave
War Eagle Cavern
War Eagle Cavern is perfect for avid spelunkers. You can choose to take a muddy and adventurous tour or simply a casual walk through the open pathway along the stream edges. War Eagle Cavern contains spectacular “domes” and many other formations you’ll come across in the first half-mile of this huge cavern.
The cavern is stroller-accessible and pet friendly, meaning you can take your furry friends for cave exploration. The spelunker tours are open from July to October while walking tours run in March each year.
- Address: 21494 Cavern Dr, Rogers, AR 72756, United States
- Website: War Eagle Cavern
- Phone number: +1 479-789-2909
- Entrance fee: Cavern tours cost $21 for adults, $12 for children between ages 4-12, and free for children below 3.
- Google Maps link: War Eagle Cavern
Blanchard Springs Caverns
Blanchard Springs Caverns is the largest and the second-longest cave in Arkansas. It’s a three-level cave system in Ozark-St. Francis National Forest and the only one owned by the United States Forest Service. Those interested in exploring the underdeveloped sections of the cave should take the Wild Cave Tour. It’s a 3 to 4-hour tour involving climbing steep slopes, crawling on hands and knees, and traveling through red clay.
There are other much less complex trails, such as The Dripstone Trail and The Discovery Trail, if wild spelunking is something you are not prepared for.
- Address: 704 Blanchard Springs Road, Fifty-Six, AR 72533, United States
- Website: Blanchard Springs Caverns
- Phone number: +1 870-757-2211
- Entrance fee: Prices for cavern tours vary depending on age and time of the year. They range between $1 and $16 for regular tours and $85 for the Wild Cave Tour.
- Google Maps link: Blanchard Springs Caverns
Old Spanish Treasure Cave
Old Spanish Treasure Cave is a karst cave located in the northwestern region of Arkansas. The cave was formed from dissolved soluble rocks, such as limestone. True to its name, Old Spanish Treasure Cave is full of mysterious rumors of golden treasure.
It’s believed that some Spanish Conquistadors hid treasure in the cave about 350 years ago. The Spaniards had traveled through the wilderness to find a treasure of gold, best known as the Seven Cities of Cibola, before Indians killed them.
Visit the cave and learn why it’s believed the treasure is still there and why this hidden treasure mystery remains unsolved.
- Address: 14290 State Hwy 59, Sulphur Springs, AR 72768, United States
- Website: Old Spanish Treasure Cave
- Phone number: +1 479-787-6508
- Entrance fee: Adults $19.50.
- Google Maps link: Old Spanish Treasure Cave
Bull Shoals Caverns
Bull Shoals Caverns is home to salamanders, camel crickets, tiny pipistrelle bats, underground rivers, and many cave formations, including cave pearls and drapolites. It’s a limestone cavern created roughly 350 million years ago during the Ordovician period, making it the world’s oldest cavern in the Ozark mountain range. The caverns were open to the public for tourism in 1958.
- Address: 1011 C S Woods Blvd, Bull Shoals, AR 72619, United States
- Website: Bull Shoals Caverns
- Phone number: +1 870-445-7177
- Entrance fee: : No entry fee, though cavern tours cost $17 for adults, $8.75 for children ages 5-11, and freer for children below 4.
- Google Maps link: Bull Shoals Caverns
Mystic Caverns and Crystal Dome
Located approximately 400 feet away from each other, these two breathtaking Arkansas caves offer separate spectacular views and are both open for guided tours. Discovered 100 years after Mystic, Crystal Dome consists of an other-worldly bell-shaped collection of crystals in pristine form. On the other hand, Mystic Cavern features the famous “pipe organ” calcite rock formation you don’t want to miss out on.
- Address: 341 Caverns Dr, Harrison, AR 72601, United States
- Website: Mystic Caverns
- Phone number: +1 870-743-1739
- Entrance fee for both caverns: $19.99 for adults, $11.99 for children ages 4-12, and free for children below 3.
- Google Maps link: Mystic Caverns
Edens Falls Cave – Lost Valley Trail
Edens Falls Cave is a formation you’ll come across towards the end of the Lost Valley Trail. Unlike many other caves, Eden Falls doesn’t offer any guided tours. Visitors, on their own, explore the no developed pathways devoid of any artificial lights. So, if you want to see everything Eden Falls offers, you should have at least three light sources to illuminate the pathway.
Be ready to get wet and muddy while crawling through the cave chambers. It would be best if you came with kneepads, gloves, and helmets.
- Address: Arkansas 72742, United States
- Website: Eden Falls Cave – Lost Valley Trail (U.S. National Park Service)
- Phone number: +1 870-439-2502 | Lost Valley Trail
- Entrance fee: Free
- Google Maps link: Eden Falls
Situated just outside the park boundary of Devil’s Den State Park in Arkansas, Moonshiner’s Cave isn’t actually naturally-formed but a manmade shelter rock believed to have been used as a root cellar for a pioneer family. Unlike in other caves, don’t expect to see deep winding tunnels inside Moonshiner’s Cave. It’s probably an ideal place for those who prefer open spaces in an average cave.
- Address: 0751 AR-74, Winslow, AR 72959, United States
- Website: Moonshiners Cave
Beckham Creek Cave Lodge
Beckham Cave is located in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas. The cave isn’t really a place for cave exploration but rather where visitors go to relax. It’s a vacation home transformed into a natural cave. It’s a four-bedroom structure with four bathrooms and a helicopter pad.
Although it’s a bit pricey, Beckham Creek Cave is an ideal place to go for family reunions, romantic weekend getaways, company retreats, and more. It’s unlike any other place on the planet.
- Address: 1110 NC 8641, Parthenon, AR 72666, United States
- Website: Beckham Creek Cave Lodge
- Phone number: +1 870-365-9785
- Entrance fee: Prices vary depending on what you want. You can check the link above for more details.
- Google Maps link: Beckham Creek Cave Lodge
Rich in legends, history, and even myths, caves in Arkansas are a perfect place for history buffs and real adventurers. They are continuously becoming major tourist destination sites in the state. If you love spelunking, then you should plan a visit to some of the caves mentioned above for a unique experience. These incredible natural treasures will astound you with their natural designs and spectacular rock formations.
Top image: GPA Photo Archive via Flickr / Creative Commons.