Texas is among the states in the United States with the quickest growth rate and with good reason. It is a good place for newcomers because of its low cost of living, pleasant climate, promising job market, and abundance of things to see and do. With about 28,300,000 citizens, Texas is one of the largest states in terms of population and area.
The “Lone Star State” is well-known for its live music, BBQ, sweltering summer temperatures and winter ice storms, and much more. Texas’ terrain also makes it possible to host a multitude of caverns. In Texas, karst regions – where the bedrock has created sinkholes, sinking streams, caves, and springs – comprise around 20% of the state and are home to at least 3,000 caverns and sinkholes. Strangely lovely locations are hidden beneath the surface all around Texas, waiting to be discovered.
Some caverns, like Devil’s Sinkhole, have never been subjected to archaeological investigation, while being open to commercial tourists, and others still contain countless tunnels just waiting to be discovered. So, if you ever find yourself in The Lone Star State, feel free to sightsee inside these ten beautiful caves!
1. Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area
There’s no reason to be terrified of its name; the Devil’s Sinkhole may sound horrifying, but it is a stunning cavern. It is a huge vertical cave that plunges straight into the ground and is located just over two hours west of San Antonio. A colony of several million Mexican free-tailed bats lives in this massive hole, almost 350 feet deep and 320 feet wide. The Devil’s Sinkhole harbors almost three million bats between May and October. During warmer months, this thick collection of insect-hungry bats provides quite a spectacle to witness every evening.
Visitors can see millions of bats descend from the cavern in the evening to begin their daily hunt for food. The swirling colony of bats consumes approximately 30 tons of beetles and moths each night as they forage across the sky for hours. The 1,860-acre natural park offers guided nature walks and birding activities apart from bat tours.
2. Longhorn Cavern State Park
Longhorn Caverns State Park, 90 minutes northwest of Austin, provides a distinctive Texas caving experience. This cave has a deep cultural history and a rich geologic past. Longhorn Cavern can be explored on foot or, for those who feel daring, by climbing, wiggling, and crawling on the Wild Cave Tour. The longer, more challenging Wild Cave Tour at the state park involves hand-and-knee crawling.
The cavern and surrounding state park were constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The cavern’s influence goes even further back to the middle of the 19th century when Anglo immigrants began using the underground area. Longhorn Caverns, one of Texas’ top state parks, also provides above-ground activities. The stone Observation Tower, built by the CCC and offering a commanding vista over the Texas Hill Country, deserves special mention.
3. Cave Without a Name
If you are looking for a stunningly beautiful cave, don’t forget to come by the Cave Without a Name. This stunning site near Boerne, Texas, opened for paid viewing in the late 1930s. It got its no-name name when a student who participated in a contest to name the now forever unnamed cave declared it too magnificent for a name. Cave Without a Name is a living cave situated about 11 miles outside the town of Boerne in the lush Texas Hill Country. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful caves in the state of Texas. Its main draw is the cave’s stunning formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, cave draperies, and rimstone dams.
4. Natural Bridge Caverns
The biggest commercial cave in the state is Natural Bridge Caverns, which is situated in New Braunfels. The largest structures in the cavern are in the Castle of the White Giants, but the Hall of the Mountain King, measuring 100 feet tall and with stunning formations covering the ceiling, walls, and floor, is equally impressive. The caverns’ name comes from a 60-foot-long, all-natural limestone bridge that spans the amphitheater near the entrance. Four college students found the cave in 1960 while doing the Discovery Tour or the more realistic Cave Lantern Tour, which uses only lanterns as light sources.
Food options, a gift store, and a 5,000-square-foot maze are among the above-ground attractions. The unusual Twisted Trails zip rails and ropes course, which offers high-flying thrills in a harness, was erected at Natural Bridge Caverns.
5. Bracken Cave
The world’s largest colony of bats spends its summers in Bracken Cave. It is the biggest known concentration of animals because, from March to October, an estimated 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats roost there. Outside San Antonio, Bracken Cave is situated at the bottom of a sinkhole left by the cave’s collapsed roof . The 100-foot-wide aperture in the shape of a crescent provides access to the cave.
Austin-based Bat Conservation International owns the cave and the surrounding property, and they did the land restoration and planted various indigenous plants, catering to a wide diversity of wildlife. Access to the cave is limited because it is situated on private property owned, administered, and protected by Bat Conservation International.
6. Caverns of Sonora
One of the most stunning exhibition caves in the world is the Caverns of Sonora, a National Natural Landmark. It sits three hours west of San Antonio on a private ranch. This cave in Sutton County draws speleologists from all over the world because of its wide variety of cave formations. Various side-winding helictites can be found in Caverns of Sonora, along with exquisite soda straws, columns, and drapes. Where the Texas Hill Land meets the Chihuahuan Desert, the cavern is concealed beneath ranch country’s cowboy boots and cattle footsteps.
7. Inner Space Cavern
One of Texas’s finest-preserved caves, Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown, roughly an hour north of Austin, is also one of the few locations where prehistoric remains have been discovered. The Texas Highway Department workers unintentionally came across the cave in 1963 while constructing Interstate 35. There were several entrances through which animals penetrated and became entwined in the mud, based on the ancient animal remains in the cave.
The numerous fossils and animal bones uncovered in the halls of this magnificent cavern are possibly its most notable feature. In the Inner Space Cavern, archaeologists have found the remains of a saber-toothed tiger and wooly mammoth. More than 1.2 miles of the passageway are traversed during the excursions, although private passages are locked and heavily guarded.
8. Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park
A natural theme park called Wonder World sits near San Marcos, Texas. Wonder Cave, an old earthquake cave and Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, is the park’s main draw. Since it first opened in 1903, this park has provided tourists with a distinctive caving experience. Visitors to the park are taken far underground to admire the Balcones Fault Line Cave, the sole evidence of an earthquake-formed cave in the country.
A single tour at Wonder World Cave delves below ground and showcases the cave’s numerous natural structures. Wonder World Cave is one of the most well-known caves in Texas because of its above-ground attractions. The city of San Marcos is also known for Texas State University. The school’s mascot is the bobcat because this animal is native to the area.
9. Kickapoo Cavern State Park
A state park called Kickapoo Cavern was established in Texas in 1991 and sits about 22 miles from Brackettville. There are more than 20 documented caverns in this state park close to Del Rio, which is sparsely developed. Stuart Bat Cave and Kickapoo Cavern, which bear the park’s name, are the two largest caves. Thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats live in the Stuart Bat Cave, hence the name.
In addition to caverns, the park features 18 miles of hiking and birdwatching paths and 14 miles of mountain biking routes. The park is abundant with animals and breathtakingly picturesque. Every Saturday, the caverns provide brief guided excursions. To preserve the fragile environment, the state park does not allow independent exploration of any cavern.
10. Cascade Caverns
A limestone cave called Cascade Caverns lies about three miles outside Boerne, Texas. There is a secret world to discover beneath the Texas Hill Country in this accessible cavern close to San Antonio. Since 1932, it has operated as a show cave, and unofficial private tours have been conducted since 1875 when Dr. Benjamin Hester owned the land where the caverns are located.
The local Lipan Apache people were aware of the caverns much before that. The cave, accessible to the public for thousands of years, is home to artifacts from the Lipan Apache culture from the 18th century and the remains of mastodons and saber-toothed tigers.
No matter the outside conditions, Cascade Caverns always has 64 degrees. The cave will occasionally close if it is drenched in the rain.
Summary of 10 Beautiful Caves in Texas:
|Cave Name||Nearby Town|
|Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area||Rocksprings|
|Longhorn Cavern State Park||Burnet|
|Cave Without a Name||Boerne|
|Nature Bridge Caverns||New Braunfels|
|Bracken Cave||San Antonio|
|Caverns of Sonora||Sonora|
|Inner Space Cavern||Georgetown|
|Wonder World Cave||San Marcos|
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.