9 Great Caves in Arkansas to Visit This Summer – Explore the Hidden Wonders of the Ozarks

With a significant number of caves scattered primarily across the Ozark Mountains in North Arkansas, the state offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the earth’s depths.

Show caves and tourist attractions dominate the list, requiring either a fee for guided tours or specific arrangements for access.

If you even find yourself in North Arkansas, be sure to don’t miss these ones.

1. Blanchard Springs Caverns

Arkansas cave exploration

Location Ozark National Forest, Arkansas
Temperature Around 58°F (14°C) year-round
Available Tours Dripstone Trail, Discovery Trail, Wild Cave Tour
Accessibility Varies by tour; some are wheelchair accessible
Guide Required Yes
Visit Duration 1 to 4 hours depending on the tour

Blanchard Springs Caverns is a natural marvel located in the Ozark National Forest. This cave system offers visitors an unparalleled glimpse into the underground beauty sculpted by nature over millions of years.

A tourn into the cave can be a great combo with a hiking tour around Arkansas.

The caverns are known for stunning limestone formations, crystal-clear pools, and massive rooms that create a sense of awe and wonder. Also, you will enjoy in well-organized tours adapted to different levels of adventure, from easy walks to more strenuous explorations, making it a must-visit destination for both nature lovers and adventure seekers.

What makes it particularly interesting is the variety of tours available. The Dripstone Trail, for instance, showcases the cave’s spectacular stalactites and stalagmites, while the more adventurous Wild Cave Tour offers a hands-on caving experience.

2. Cosmic Cavern

Ozark cave tours

Location Berryville, Arkansas
Temperature Around 64°F (18°C) year-round
Available Tours Regular and Wild Cave Tours
Accessibility Main tour is generally accessible; Wild Cave Tour requires physical fitness
Guide Required Yes
Visit Duration 1.5 to 2 hours for Regular Tour, longer for Wild Cave Tour

Known as one of Arkansas’ most beautifully preserved caves, it offers visitors an exciting mix of natural wonders and adventurous experiences. The “wild cave” tours provide a rare opportunity to explore less accessible parts of the cave, appealing to those looking for an adrenaline rush.

Furthermore, the presence of rare cave species and the vibrant colors of the rock formations make Cosmic Cavern a must-see for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

The year-round tours are accessible to a wide audience, with guides leading the way and illuminating the hidden corners of this subterranean world. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned explorer, Cosmic Cavern’s blend of natural beauty and mystery ensures a memorable journey into the depths of the earth.

3. Bull Shoals Caverns

Arkansas spelunking spots

Location Bull Shoals, Arkansas
Temperature Around 59°F (15°C) year-round
Available Tours Guided Tours
Accessibility Mostly accessible, but may have limitations for those with mobility issues
Guide Required Yes
Visit Duration Approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour

This cavern, formed over 350 million years ago, is not only a geological wonder but also a historical treasure, having provided shelter to Native Americans and early settlers.

The diversity of its formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, and an underground river, makes it a fascinating visit for those interested in both the natural world and the history of the region. The small underground lake within the cavern adds to its mystique, offering a serene and slightly mysterious ambiance that captivates visitors.

Open to the public for guided tours, it is accessible to people of all ages, making it an ideal destination for families seeking an educational adventure. The guides are knowledgeable, providing insights into the cave’s formation, its ecosystem, and its historical significance. The cavern maintains a constant cool temperature, making it a refreshing escape during the hot summer months.

4. Onyx Cave Park

Hidden caves of the Ozarks

Location Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Temperature Around 57°F (14°C) year-round
Available Tours Self-guided Audio Tours
Accessibility Accessible to most visitors
Guide Required No, self-guided
Visit Duration Approximately 30 minutes

Onyx Cave Park, distinguished as the oldest show cave in Arkansas, provides a unique and accessible caving experience in the picturesque setting of Eureka Springs. The self-guided audio tours allow visitors to explore at their own pace, ensuring a personalized experience that caters to individual interests and time constraints.

The ease of access and the educational aspect of the audio commentary make Onyx Cave Park an ideal destination for families, educators, and anyone with a keen interest in geology or natural history.

The constant cool temperature inside the cave provides a pleasant retreat from the summer heat, making it a popular year-round attraction. With its convenient location near Eureka Springs, visitors can easily combine a trip to Onyx Cave Park with other local attractions.

5. War Eagle Cavern

Location Rogers, Arkansas
Temperature Around 58°F (14°C) year-round
Available Tours Guided Walking Tours
Accessibility Accessible for most visitors; check in advance for specific needs
Guide Required Yes
Visit Duration 45 minutes to 1 hour for the cave tour; additional time for surface activities

The cavern is famous for its expansive chambers, impressive natural formations, and the unique feature of having three levels of passages, a rarity among caves. You will also be able to see a diverse wildlife, including bats, salamanders, and the rare Ozark blind cave fish.

Above ground, War Eagle Cavern extends its offerings with a variety of family-friendly activities, including a maze, gemstone panning, and nature trails that showcase the beauty of the Ozark Mountains. These additional attractions make it more than just a cave visit. It’s a full day of adventure.

6. Old Spanish Treasure Cave

Arkansas cave adventures

Location Sulphur Springs, Arkansas
Temperature Around 58°F (14°C) year-round
Available Tours Guided Tours
Accessibility Check in advance for specific accessibility needs
Guide Required Yes
Visit Duration Approximately 1 hour

This historical spot is shrouded in tales of hidden treasures left behind by Spanish explorers in the 16th century, offering an adventurous tour that appeals to both history buffs and treasure hunters.

The guided tours through the cave provide a unique experience, where visitors can explore the extensive network of passages and chambers, marvel at the ancient formations, and perhaps dream of discovering long-lost riches.

Accessibility to the cave allows for a wide range of visitors to explore its depths, with tours designed to educate and entertain. The guides are well-versed in the cave’s history, geology, and the legends that have made it a fascinating destination for generations.

7. Blowing Cave

Summer cave visits

Feature Details
Location Cushman, Arkansas
Temperature Around 59°F (15°C) year-round
Available Tours Occasional guided tours; check availability
Accessibility Currently Unavailable
Guide Required Yes, when tours are available
Visit Duration Varies based on tour

Unlike the more popular show caves, Blowing Cave has got attention for its legends of subterranean passages leading to inner earth civilizations and tales of encounters with the paranormal.

The sense of mystery makes it a fascinating destination for those drawn to the unknown and the supernatural. Though not regularly open to the public, occasional tours allow the adventurous few to explore its depths.

When tours are available, they offer a guided journey into the cave’s interior, where visitors can admire its geological features while pondering the stories that have made Blowing Cave a subject of fascination.

8. Mystic Caverns

Arkansas cave attractions

Location Harrison, Arkansas
Temperature Around 59°F (15°C) year-round
Available Tours Currently closed; previously offered guided tours
Accessibility Currently Unavailable
Guide Required Yes, when tours are available
Visit Duration Varies based on tour

Despite currently being closed to the public, Mystic Caverns has a history of attracting visitors with its striking array of speleothems, including stalactites, stalagmites, and rare cave formations like the “Pipe Organ.”

The intrigue surrounding Mystic Caverns is not just about its geological wonders but also the stories and history it holds within its walls. Tours in the past have offered insights into the cave’s formation, the ecosystem it supports, and the human history connected to its exploration.

9. Hurricane River Cave

Ozark cave discoveries

Location Harrison, Arkansas
Temperature Around 59°F (15°C) year-round
Available Tours Currently closed; previously offered guided tours
Accessibility Currently Unavailable
Guide Required Yes, when tours are available
Visit Duration Depends on the tour

Although currently closed to the public, this cave has a storied past of thrilling visitors with its extensive underground river system, towering waterfall, and remarkable rock formations.

The unique ecosystem within the cave, including various species adapted to the dark, moist environment, adds to the intrigue and natural significance of this hidden gem.

The great news is that it is closed for reparation, which means that we will have a chance to enjoy in tours once again when the restoration is finished.


Why is Mystic Caverns closed?

Mystic Caverns is a show cave in Arkansas that was bought by a theme park called Dogpatch USA in 1966. The theme park closed in 2020 due to financial troubles and the fate of the cave is uncertain.

How warm do caves stay?

Caves generally have a constant temperature that is close to the average surface temperature of the region where they are located. The temperature may vary slightly depending on the depth, size, and number of entrances of the cave, but it is usually between 50°F and 70°F.

What country has the best caves?

This is a subjective question that depends on personal preferences and criteria. However, some countries that are known for having spectacular and diverse caves are Vietnam, Mexico, China, New Zealand, and Slovenia. These countries have caves that feature amazing formations, glowworms, ice, crystals, and rivers.

Are caves affected by seasons?

Caves are not affected by seasons as much as the surface, because they are insulated by the surrounding rock. However, some caves may experience seasonal changes in water levels, airflow, and biological activity. For example, some caves may have more water in the rainy season, more bats in the winter, or more visitors in the summer.

Last Words

Visiting caves offers a glimpse into the earth’s natural history and presents a unique adventure. It’s a chance to see geological wonders up close, learn about the environment, and appreciate the need for conservation.

In the end, it can be a perfect solution for traveling, either with friends or with a family. Kids will love these places as well, while it can also be a part of  a romantic trip.