Caves located in Missouri and many near Branson...
in the Branson, Missouri area.
my name is Donald Raether
and if you're reading this about caves on my website at
branson-ozark-mountain-country you also know me as "Rancher Don".
you aware that over 5,000 caves have been recorded in Missouri and many of them are in the Branson and the Ozark Mountain Country. If
there are 5,000 recorded caves in Missouri you can bet there are at
least that many unrecorded or maybe more.
Caves on private land go unrecorded for many reasons and I list some
The owner don't want folks trespassing on their land.
The owner is protecting a moonshine still in the cave.
There are bats and other creatures that the owner is
protecting or studying..
The owner stores his fruit and vegtables in the cave at an
even 57 degrees.
There are mushrooms being grown in the cave.
There is an underground lake or reservoir in the cave that
is being used for a water supply.
It is a private storm shelter or bomb shelter the owner
doens't want folks knowing about.
There are probably more caves that have never been discovered than
those that have because.
They have no surface opening
The dense cover has hid them
The early Indians hid the openings
Early theives burried treasure and sealed them.
They are very deep underground
The Osage Indians discovered the Marble or Marvel cave in the early
1500s before the white
man came into the Ozark Mountain Country. Rumer has it a
was chasing a wounded bear and it fell into the verticle shaft into the
cave and the hunter came back later with friends and ropes and went
down to investigate. The glory hole or the hole that was just under the
surface when the surface collapsed opening the cave is said to be 204
feet high and is called the Cathedral room. Tunnels lead off far
I was reading something the other day about Jesse James and his gang
were using some of the Missouri caves as hideouts or to hide treasure.
They probably worked
good for that especially in the hot summer.
I am surely no cave expert or whatever such a person would be
called but I believe I read the reason there are so many caves in the
Branson, Missouti area is because the area had large diposits of
soluable limestone when the earth was formed. Over the years this
material desolved from water filtering into the material and when it
desolved it ran downhill like water and settled into basins deep in the
caverns leaving a cave above. Some of these underground pools or lakes
are hundreds of feet deep.
listing of Branson area caves.
I am going to list several caves in this section and on my website you
can follow the links to more information however when I submit this
article to article directories they don't like links so I will have to
disarm them. However my website is listed at the bottom in the resourse
box and you can follow it to my site and much more information all
about caves and everything to do with Branson.
These caves should be
open for tours.
1. Crystal Cave- It gives tours daily and offers glimpses of unique
roct formations along with underground springs and Indian markings on
2. Marvel Cave- Originally called Marble cave as early explorers
thought there was marble in the cave but that was not the case all they
found was about a million tons of bat manure which was extracted and
sold. This is probably the most famous cave in the area because of it's
size, formation and the fact that the Herschend family built Silver
Dollar City on top of the cave and give tours daily. You
must be in
good shape to take the tour as there is about 600 steps on the way
3.Fantastic Caverns-This cave is the only one that actually has a
riding tour where you are taken on a wagon caravan pulled by a jeep
through the cave. This is a very nice cave to visit.
4. Talking rocks Cavern- On this cave tour you will see interesting
mineral and rock formations and actuall you can hear noises made by the
rocks in the lower elevations.
5. Cosmic Caverns-This cave has a bottomless lake that actual have fish
and other creatures living in the water.
This would indicate to me that it must be connected underwater with a
above ground lake or river.
There are hundreds of caves within the Ozark Scenic Riverways
are accessable near roads and others only accessable via boat and then
sometimes some distance to walk from the river. If you can access the
link above you can read all about many of them from the Missouri
Department of Conservation .
ROUND SPRING CAVERN- The National Park Service conducts lantern tours
for the public. These somewhat strenuous "underground hikes" are
limited to the first 15 people. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a jacket or
sweater, as it is cool in the cave. Tours are offered daily, at 10:00
and 2:00, during the summer months. Tickets are $5.00 for adults, $2.50
for children. Tickets go on sale 30 minutes before each tour and there
are no reservations.
School groups may make special arrangements by calling
573-323-4236, ext 236. Please try to schedule your school visit outside
of the summer months. (May or Sept)
Devils Well - Located off Route KK near Akers, this
unusual karst window allows a look at the earth's plumbing. Devils Well
was formed when the roof of a huge cavern, containing an underground
lake, collapsed. The result was large sinkhole, with an opening in the
bottom through which you can view the lake. The water level is about
100 feet below the platform, and the lake may be as much as 80 feet
deep. (it can fluctuate 8 to 10 feet depending on the weather.)
A "spiral staircase" has been built to allow viewing. The road
is very steep and rough, it is not recommended for trailers or
motorhomes. There is no admission fee for Devils Well and the area is
open every day, all day.
Jam Up Cave - Located on the Jacks Fork River
between Rymers and Blue Spring. Jam Up is a spectacular cave, but can
only be reached by boat. The high entrance is about 80 feet high and
100 feet wide.(Note the size of the mature trees in the photo.) Much of
the cave is filled with water, and there is a small underground
waterfall. There is a natural skylight that provides some light to the
inside. Ceiling breakdowns have occurred in the recent past, so caution
is warranted. (Of course, caution is warranted in any cave!)
Jam Up Cave is located within the Jacks Fork Natural Area.
Missouri's "Natural Areas" program
recognizes areas of great natural beauty or importance. This three mile
stretch of the Jacks Fork River is home to four species of crayfish
that are found only in the Ozarks and nine species of fish that are
also limited to the Ozarks. There are many rare plants on the bluffs,
some of which are "left-overs" from the ice ages. When the climate
warmed, they survived in the cool wet niches among the bluffs and caves
while their species became extinct elsewhere in Missouri. (Collecting
any plants is prohibited by the National Park Service to preserve such
rarities for your enjoyment.)