Longhorn Caverns

A great way to beat the heat during the dog days of summer is to go underground!  Longhorn Caverns State Park is a little over an hour away from Austin in Marble Falls. 

Longhorn Caverns is one of the few caves made from a rushing underground river.  Most caves in the area are made from dripping water from above. 

The result is that this cave has some different formations than those found in other caverns in the area: domed holes from whirlpools, architecture that is more flowing and fewer stalagmites.

The cave also has a very colorful history, having been used as a tavern, chapel, Indian burial ground, weapons locker and bomb shelter!

We have been twice this year, and both times found the tour guide friendly, entertaining and informative.  Strangely enough, with different tour guides, the tour differed enough that we didn't feel like we were repeating the experience.

We took the Daily tour - an entertaining hour-and-a-half, three-quarter mile underground hike out and back. 

However, the caverns offer some speciality tours that I would love to return and take. For children over 11, it has the Wild Cave Tour which goes into less accessible places and requires helmet, knee pads and flashlight.  There is also an evening paranormal tour once a month.  Supposedly the cavern is haunted, and the evening tours occur at night and sound pretty fun and spooky!

After we left, we headed back through Marble Falls and stopped at Bluebonnet Cafe for lunch.  This was our first time eating there, and it was a treat.  We enjoyed the Hot Roast Beef sandwich, but the highlight was the huge selection of pies!

Tips and Thoughts

The tours seem to run every hour.  You can call ahead and make reservations, or you can just show up. 

We arrived at 11:30 and were assigned to the noon tour.  With a little extra time to spend, we explored the observation tower on the premises.  There is also an interactive museum next door that details the works of the CCC.  We did not make it into the museum, as the kids were totally enarmored with the magnets in the gift shop!

The tour fee is $12.99 for adults and $7.99 for children.  In addition to the tour, the tour leaders do accept tips, so bring a few spare dollars to thank your tour guide when you leave.

No food or drink is allowed in the cavern, but you may bring in a water bottle.

If you are looking to make a whole day of it, Inks Lake is just a mile or so down the road, and a fun place to spend the rest of the afternoon!

1 comment:

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