Current River Cavern

Rates:

Cave Tour: $12 per person
(also includes visit to museum & nature center)
Park Pass: $25 per person
(includes cave tour, museum & nature center, gem or fossil panning, quarry dig and a souvenir photograph; $28 to $33 value)

About Current River Cavern:

One of the prettier show caves in Missouri, Current River Cavern, formerly called “Big Spring Onyx Cavern,” is exceptionally well decorated with a wide variety of natural cave formations. A year round stream flows through the tour passage beneath the boardwalk and a small waterfall can be seen flowing from a side passage after heavy rains. The temperature inside the cave is a cool 58°F year round, very nice on a hot summer day.

Current River Cavern is the first commercial cave with absolutely no wires for lighting. We use remote controlled, battery powered LED lights that give off a restricted light spectrum and minimal heat so as not to disturb the cave life or promote algae growth which can damage formations.

Tours of Current River Cavern cost $12 per person and are given all day during our hours of operation. The tour lasts 30-40 minutes and includes a visit to the mineral/fossil museum and nature center. There is a flat boardwalk that covers most of the tour section.

The cave is lighted by remote controlled LED lights, but flashlights are available to borrow in the gift shop so you can look around. We allow photography inside the cave so bring your camera! Please, no flash photography of sleeping bats.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the cave tour guided?

We only offer guided tours of Current River Cavern. Our guides have a wealth of information on the cave and its formations and are trained to give you an interesting and exciting cave tour.

What should I wear?

The temperature in the cave is a constant 58° Fahrenheit (14.44° C) all year. During a hot summer day the cave feels like a well air-conditioned room so shorts, T-shirts, open-toed shoes (no high heels), and other light summer clothing are fine. In cooler weather you may want a light jacket and long pants. The tour passage has a smooth boardwalk through most of its length, making extra foot protection unnecessary.

Do I need a helmet?

If you have your own helmet, feel free to bring it. We do provide plastic bump caps when you sign up for your tour, which are quite effective in avoiding bumped heads. These caps appear flimsy, but when the cap touches the ceiling you will feel it before your head gets there.

Can I bring a flashlight?

You can bring your own flashlight if you like. We do provide flashlights at the start of the tour, so bringing your own is not necessary. Our cave is lit by LED lights during the tour.

Can I take pictures inside the cave?

You can take all the photos that you like in the cave. We ask that you do not take flash photos of sleeping bats.

Can I touch the formations?

You can touch the formations in the entrance chamber ONLY. This part of the cave gets a lot of air circulation and is very dry as a result, so your touch will not cause damage to the formations here. For the rest of the tour we ask that you DO NOT touch any formations. The natural oils on your hands (as well as those found in lotions you may have used) will repel water from the place that you touched, and it is this mineral-bearing water that causes the formations to grow.

How many people can go in one tour?

Our ideal tour size is 10-12 people so that your experience is more personal and our guides can answer your questions. We can take larger groups so don’t be shy, just come on over.

What if I am claustrophobic?

Claustrophobia (the fear of tight places) is not uncommon. Most people who tell us that they are claustrophobic have no trouble at all in our cave, but if you feel like you have to end the tour early please let your guide know and you will be escorted to the front of the cave or to the rear exit, whichever is closer. Current River Cavern is actually a great place to conquer claustrophobia, as its narrow places are not so small as to pose any danger or major discomfort.

What if I am afraid of the dark?

Our tour passage is lit with LED lights and flash lights are provided at the start of the tour. Sometimes the guides will ask a tour group if they want to experience the total blackness that is the cave’s natural state, but this part of the tour is completely voluntary. If you are afraid of the dark, just let your guide know and the lights will remain on.

Do you give cave tours in bad weather?

Since you’ll be under ground for the entire tour, you won’t get wet because it’s raining outside. We can give cave tours in all weather conditions.

How much should I tip my guide?

Our guides are trained to ensure that you have a safe, memorable, and enjoyable experience. The industry standard for tipping is 15-20% of the tour rate much like a restaurant. Tips are not expected, but greatly appreciated.

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Will there be bathroom and water breaks during the cave tour?

We DO NOT have water stations in the cave, and we highly suggest that you take advantage of our restroom facilities prior to your tour. The tour can last 35 to 45 minutes, and there will NOT be a restroom break during your tour.

Do you offer tours of the wild sections of the cave?

We do not offer wild cave tours at this time. While there are some impressive sites in the back sections of the cave, getting there involves a long, muddy crawl through 58° F (14.44° C) water, requiring a wetsuit to avoid hypothermia.

Right of Refusal

Our staff are well trained and care about your safety very much. Cave Spring Park reserves the right to refuse anyone access to the cave tours if we feel it would be unsafe for that person, our other guests or our staff. Some examples of someone we might turn away would be a guest under the influence of drugs or alcohol, someone that will not or cannot understand or obey the rules and those who are physically unable to do a cave tour. We do everything in our power to get guests out on a tour and give them safe access to our cave. However, Cave Spring Park and our staff will have the final say on any particular person going on or continuing on a tour.