There’s one sure-fire place to escape a cold day in Missouri … a cave. No, don’t go making yourself a snug little cave of your favorite blanket, a nice fire and your preferred snacks and binge-watching movie series. I mean actual in-the-ground, year-round, climate-controlled caves, which are abundant here in the Cave State:
GO NOW – Caves open year-round
Bonne Terre Mine – Bonne Terre: the hour-long tour follows old mule trails through the mine on the two upper levels. Be aware, there is a 65-step staircase in and out.
Bluff Dwellers Cave – Noel: only 50 percent of this cave is developed and still the family-friendly tour is 45 minutes to an hour. Be sure to visit the on-site Browning Museum.
Fantastic Caverns – Springfield: America’s only all-riding cave tour, following the path of an ancient underground river.
Bridal Cave – Camdenton: a setting for both romance and tragedy dating back to the 1800s and the scene of more than 3,000 weddings. Go on a tour and hear the legends.
Jacob’s Cave – Versailles: explore the first commercialized cave in the Lake of the Ozarks area with what is believed to be the world’s largest geode.
Lost Canyon Cave & Nature Trail – Ridgedale: tour the nature trail and four-story cave in an electric cart and enjoy the cascading waterfall and cave bar. Tour lasts 40-50 minutes.
Mark Twain Cave Complex – Hannibal: made famous by one of America’s most famous authors. Enjoy a one-hour tour through crisscross patterned passages, no stairs and a constant 52 degrees.
Meramec Caverns – Stanton: explore seven levels of natural wonders along historic Route 66. The cave is reputed to have been used by Jesse James as a hideout.
Miller Cave – Ft. Leonard Wood: hike a short, steep, narrow trail to get to the only cave on Fort Leonard Wood open to the public. This is a wild cave with severe drop-offs in and around it.
Smallin Civil War Cave – Ozark: the first documented cave in the Ozarks with half-mile hour-long guided tours on stroller- and wheelchair-friendly trails. Rugged wild cave tours and Civil War Lantern Tours are available.
Talking Rocks Cavern – Branson West: combine a cave tour with professional guides on crystal formation lined paths with lots of family-friendly activities like mini-golf and crawl mazes.
SAVE FOR LATER – Seasonal Caves – check links for when these caves are open
Cameron Cave – Hannibal
Cathedral Cave – Onondaga State Park, Leasburg
Current River Cavern – Cave State Park, Van Buren
Fisher Cave – Meramec State Park, Sullivan
Marvel Cave – Branson
Onondaga Cave– Onondaga State Park, Leasburg
Ozark Caverns – Lake of the Ozarks State Park
Round Spring Cavern – Eminence
* To minimize the potential spreading of white-nose syndrome in our native bats, screening measures are in place for these caves. Please do not wear the same clothing, footwear, accessories or equipment that has been in any other cave and follow these same guidelines when visiting other caves. If you want to help us protect bats, remember that twice is too much when it comes to what you bring into a cave!