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Most Popular Caves near Eureka Springs

The Ozark region is filled with an abundance of caves formed in the underlying limestone and dolomite rock. Many of these are wild caves, typically explored by experienced spelunkers, but some are commercial show caves, where guided tours are available to anyone. Three of Ozark's best known show caves are within a few miles of Eureka Springs.

Onyx Cave

  • Location: 338 Onyx Cave Lane, Eureka Springs, AR
  • Distance from us: 6.7 miles
  • Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Sunday, 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Onyx Cave, just east of Eureka Springs, is a show cave known for its accumulations of flowstone (cave onyx). The cave is made up of various chambers filled with stalagmites, stalactites, and other formations. The cave is also home to bats, salamanders, and other wildlife.

Tours of Onyx Cave have been offered since 1893, making it the oldest show cave in Arkansas. These days, tours are self-guided. You're given radio headphones, and, as you pass through the different chambers, audio descriptions of your surroundings are provided. A typical tour takes about 30 minutes, but you can take as long as you like.

The temperature in the cave stays at around 57 degrees year-round, so you'll probably want to bring a jacket. You'll also want to pack a camera since photography in the cave is not only allowed, but encouraged.

Onyx Cave is actually part of a small park, which offers a number of other activities for visitors to enjoy. You can try your luck at gemstone panning, axe throwing, and destroying various objects in a smash room. A gift shop is also on-site if you're interested in picking up a momento or two.

Cosmic Cavern

  • Location: 6386 AR-21, Berryville, AR
  • Distance from us: 18.9 miles
  • Hours: Daily, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Cosmic Cavern, located in Berryville, Arkansas, is one of the state's largest–and warmest–caves. (The temperature is a constant 67 degrees.) This privately-owned limestone cave is filled with a variety of cave formations, including stalagmites and stalactites, cave popcorn and cave bacon, helictites, and soda straws. Cosmic Cavern is also home to two lakes that are so deep, divers have yet to discover their bottoms. Wildlife in the cavern include blind salamanders, crawdads, and bats. One of the lakes reportedly contains a number of blind, colorless trout.

A standard guided tour of Cosmic Cavern typically covers a third of a mile and lasts a little over an hour. It includes a visit to Silent Splendor, a section of the cavern that houses one of the Ozarks largest soda straw formations. The tour is an easy hike, but it does include a few stairs. Completion of the standard guided tour gives you the option of taking a Wild Cave Tour. This after-hours tour lets you explore less-visited areas of the cavern. Regardless of which tour you choose, make sure to bring a camera. The cavern is well lit, and you'll have the opportunity to take plenty of photographs.

Other activities you can enjoy at Cosmic Cavern include gem panning, picnicking, and visiting the site's gift shop.

War Eagle Cavern

  • Location: 21494 Cavern Drive, Rogers, AR
  • Distance from us: 22.7 miles
  • Hours: Daily, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

War Eagle Cavern is the most popular show cave in Arkansas. Located at Beaver Lake in Rogers, Arkansas, it's also one of the largest caverns in northwest Arkansas, with three stories of unusual cave formations, numerous waterfalls, an underground lake, and bats (lots of bats). Over 75,000 eastern pipistrelle bats and the gray bats reside in the cavern.

Three types of tours are offered at War Eagle Cavern. Traditional tours are led by expert guides and cover the first half-mile of the cavern. Lantern tours are guided tours that cover much more of the cavern. These tours are held after-hours. Wild Cavern Tours are demanding guided tours that involve climbing, crawling, and getting covered in mud. You'll spend around three hours exploring over two miles of the cave system, including a 100-foot deep subterranean canyon.

In addition to cave tours, War Eagle Cavern has plenty of above-ground activities the whole family can enjoy. You can get lost in a man-made maze, pan for gemstones, or explore a lop-sided moonshiner's shack. In addition, gifts and souvenirs are available at an on-site gift shop.