Caves located in Missouri and many near Branson...
Cavesin the Branson, Missouri area.
Himy name is Donald Raetherand if you're reading this about caves on my website atbranson-ozark-mountain-country you also know me as "Rancher Don".
Areyou aware that over 5,000 caves have been recorded in Missouri and many of them are in the Branson and the Ozark Mountain Country. Ifthere are 5,000 recorded caves in Missouri you can bet there are atleast that many unrecorded or maybe more.
Caves on private land go unrecorded for many reasons and I list somehere.
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 isprotecting or studying..
The owner stores his fruit and vegtables in the cave at aneven 57 degrees.
There are mushrooms being grown in the cave.
There is an underground lake or reservoir in the cave thatis being used for a water supply.
It is a private storm shelter or bomb shelter the ownerdoens't want folks knowing about.
There are probably more caves that have never been discovered thanthose 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 early1500s before the whiteman came into the Ozark Mountain Country. Rumer has it ahunterwas chasing a wounded bear and it fell into the verticle shaft into thecave and the hunter came back later with friends and ropes and wentdown to investigate. The glory hole or the hole that was just under thesurface when the surface collapsed opening the cave is said to be 204feet high and is called the Cathedral room. Tunnels lead off farunderground.
I was reading something the other day about Jesse James and his gangwere using some of the Missouri caves as hideouts or to hide treasure.They probably workedgood for that especially in the hot summer.
I am surely no cave expert or whatever such a person would becalled but I believe I read the reason there are so many caves in theBranson, Missouti area is because the area had large diposits ofsoluable limestone when the earth was formed. Over the years thismaterial desolved from water filtering into the material and when itdesolved it ran downhill like water and settled into basins deep in thecaverns leaving a cave above. Some of these underground pools or lakesare hundreds of feet deep.
Partiallisting of Branson area caves. I am going to list several caves in this section and on my website youcan follow the links to more information however when I submit thisarticle to article directories they don't like links so I will have todisarm them. However my website is listed at the bottom in the resoursebox and you can follow it to my site and much more information allabout caves and everything to do with Branson.
These caves should beopen for tours.
1. Crystal Cave- It gives tours daily and offers glimpses of uniqueroct formations along with underground springs and Indian markings onthe walls.
2. Marvel Cave- Originally called Marble cave as early explorersthought there was marble in the cave but that was not the case all theyfound was about a million tons of bat manure which was extracted andsold. This is probably the most famous cave in the area because of it'ssize, formation and the fact that the Herschend family built SilverDollar City on top of the cave and give tours daily. Youmust be ingood shape to take the tour as there is about 600 steps on the wayout.
3.Fantastic Caverns-This cave is the only one that actually has ariding tour where you are taken on a wagon caravan pulled by a jeepthrough the cave. This is a very nice cave to visit.
4. Talking rocks Cavern- On this cave tour you will see interestingmineral and rock formations and actuall you can hear noises made by therocks in the lower elevations.
5. Cosmic Caverns-This cave has a bottomless lake that actual have fishand other creatures living in the water. This would indicate to me that it must be connected underwater with aabove ground lake or river.
There are hundreds of caves within the Ozark Scenic Riverwayssomeare accessable near roads and others only accessable via boat and thensometimes some distance to walk from the river. If you can access thelink above you can read all about many of them from the MissouriDepartment of Conservation .
ROUND SPRING CAVERN- The National Park Service conducts lantern toursfor the public. These somewhat strenuous "underground hikes" arelimited to the first 15 people. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a jacket orsweater, as it is cool in the cave. Tours are offered daily, at 10:00and 2:00, during the summer months. Tickets are $5.00 for adults, $2.50for children. Tickets go on sale 30 minutes before each tour and thereare no reservations.
School groups may make special arrangements by calling573-323-4236, ext 236. Please try to schedule your school visit outsideof the summer months. (May or Sept)
Devils Well - Located off Route KK near Akers, thisunusual karst window allows a look at the earth's plumbing. Devils Wellwas formed when the roof of a huge cavern, containing an undergroundlake, collapsed. The result was large sinkhole, with an opening in thebottom through which you can view the lake. The water level is about100 feet below the platform, and the lake may be as much as 80 feetdeep. (it can fluctuate 8 to 10 feet depending on the weather.)
A "spiral staircase" has been built to allow viewing. The roadis very steep and rough, it is not recommended for trailers ormotorhomes. There is no admission fee for Devils Well and the area isopen every day, all day.
Jam Up Cave - Located on the Jacks Fork Riverbetween Rymers and Blue Spring. Jam Up is a spectacular cave, but canonly be reached by boat. The high entrance is about 80 feet high and100 feet wide.(Note the size of the mature trees in the photo.) Much ofthe cave is filled with water, and there is a small undergroundwaterfall. There is a natural skylight that provides some light to theinside. Ceiling breakdowns have occurred in the recent past, so cautionis warranted. (Of course, caution is warranted in any cave!)
Jam Up Cave is located within the Jacks Fork Natural Area.
Missouri's "Natural Areas" programrecognizes areas of great natural beauty or importance. This three milestretch of the Jacks Fork River is home to four species of crayfishthat are found only in the Ozarks and nine species of fish that arealso limited to the Ozarks. There are many rare plants on the bluffs,some of which are "left-overs" from the ice ages. When the climatewarmed, they survived in the cool wet niches among the bluffs and caveswhile their species became extinct elsewhere in Missouri. (Collectingany plants is prohibited by the National Park Service to preserve suchrarities for your enjoyment.)