AR caves

11 Caves in Arkansas: Outlaws, Bootleggers and Blue Aliens

If you love cave adventures than Arkansas is the place for you. There are many beautiful and unique caves in Arkansas that will leave you in awe.

I love a good adventure and Arkansas always provides something new and unique to explore. Whether it’s the Little Grand Canyon in Arkansas that is tucked away in the hills of the Ouachita Mountains or underground caves full of mystery, there is never a lack for things to explore here in The Natural State.

I love going into the caves in Arkansas because it feels like an untouched place. The scenery is so much different from everything over your head that it makes it seem like a new world. I know I’m not the only one who has been there but they always feel magical.

Today I want to tell you about some of my favorite caves in Arkansas. Some of them are more popular with tourists than others but I know you will love them all.

Best Caves in Arkansas

Put on your best walking shoes and let’s take an adventure to see some of the best caves in Arkansas!

1. Bull Shoals Caverns

Bull Shoals Caverns is a beautiful limestone cavern that is located in, you guessed it, Bull Shoals Arkansas. This cavern has a year-round temperature of 59 degrees making it pleasant to visit anytime of the year.

Bull Shoals Cavern
Bull Shoals Cavern. Photo credit: Dave Thomas/Creative Commons

“Bull Shoals Caverns has been open since 1958. Human dwelling was first documented starting 300 B.C. via carbon dating. The first Native Americans to use this cave were the Cliff Walkers which have been inhabiting caves for 10,000 years throughout Central North America as well as other tribes. Early settlers in the late 1800s to early 1900’s would utilize the caverns as a well cooler aka (refrigerator). During the American Civil War, Confederate soldiers use the cavern for harvesting saltpeter. In the early to middle 1900s, moonshiners utilized the cavern as a hideout for their stills during Prohibition. Due to a lack of good roads, moonshiners were not bothered by “Revenooers.” During World War II, Bull Shoals Caverns was used for refrigeration by the surrounding neighbors for whiskey and food storage.” -source

Bull Shoals Cavern arkansas
Bull Shoals Cavern. Photo credit: Dave Thomas/Creative Commons

Pro tip: Bring your camera so you can get beautiful pictures inside the Cathedral Room!

You will find Bull Shoals Caverns here:
1011 CS Woods Blvd.
Bull Shoals, AR 72619

2. Cosmic Cavern in Berryville

Cosmic Cavern is Arkansas’s largest privately-owned show cave. It is located in Northwest Arkansas in the town of Berryville. It is also a fun activity to do while you are enjoying all the wonderful things to do in Eureka Springs.

Cosmic Cavern has a year-round 64 degrees temperature making it the warmest cave in the Arkansas Ozarks.

Cosmic Cavern bottomless lake in Arkansas
Cosmic Cavern bottomless lake in Arkansas. Photo credit: Trevis Rothwell/Creative Commons

“Cosmic Cavern was discovered in 1845, but wasn’t developed until 1927. The cave features a 9 foot soda straw, the longest known in the Ozarks, and 2 bottomless cave lakes. The first lake, South Lake, has had trout in it for nearly 50 years.” -source

You will find Cosmic Cavern here:
6386 AR-21, Berryville, AR 72616

3. Blanchard Springs Caverns

Blanchard Springs Caverns is unique because one of the trails is accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. Is a beautiful trail that takes you nearly half a mile one way through the caverns.

If you were looking for something a little more strenuous, there is a longer trail with nearly 700 stair steps that takes you to a different section of the caverns.

Blanchard springs caverns near eureka springs
Blanchard Springs Caverns. Photo credit: Trove1

“Located in Stone County, approximately 2 miles off Highway 14 near Mountain View, the Blanchard Springs Caverns is one of the most spectacular and carefully developed caves found anywhere. Visitors enter a “living” cave where glistening formations like stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and flowstones are still changing.” -source

While you are in the area, be sure to explore all the great things to do in the Ozark National Forest.

You will find Blanchard Springs Caverns here:
2106 E Main St, Mountain View, AR 72560

4. Old Spanish Treasure Cave

The old Spanish treasure cave is full of adventure and mystery. This cave offers a one-of-a-kind experience with cave tours, a gift shop, underground movie events, and the opportunity to pan for real gemstones and crystals.

“Step into the adventure of a guided tour through one of the Ozark’s biggest mysteries, The Old Spanish Treasure Cave. This cavern is filled with fascinating legends of hidden treasure buried by the Spanish Conquistadors. Learn why the unsolved mystery of the hidden treasure has been kept alive in this cavern and why it is believed the treasure is still here.” –source

This cave was also featured on Arkansas PBS!

You will find Old Spanish Treasure Cave here
14290 State Hwy 59, Sulphur Springs, AR 72768

5. War Eagle Cavern

War Eagle Cavern offers a well-round, adventure-filled family experience.

War Eagle Cavern Arkansas cave
War Eagle Cavern. Photo credit: Courtland Rawson/ Creative Commons

“Home of the only lakeside cavern entrance in Arkansas, War Eagle Cavern is a must see while visiting this historical area. Whether you are planning your family vacation or just a fun weekend adventure, War Eagle Cavern offers hours of affordable family fun. Located half-way between Eureka Springs and Rogers, Arkansas. We are: stroller-accessible, pet friendly, and have limited handicap accessibility.” -source

War Eagle Cavern bat cave
War Eagle Cavern bat cave. Photo credit: Jeff Weese/Creative Commons

You will find War Eagle Cavern here:
21494 Cavern Drive
Rogers, Arkansas 72756

6. Onyx Cave

Onyx cave is a beautiful living cave in Eureka Springs Arkansas. Not only do they offer a 30-minute radio guided tour, they also have a fun gift shop, an ax throwing area, and Arkansas’s first smash room.

If you have any anger that could only be solved by smashing something, Onyx cave Park is the place for you!

You will find Onyx Cave Park here
338 Onyx Cave Lane, Eureka Springs, AR

7. Mystic Caverns and Crystal Dome

The name suits this cavern well it is truly otherworldly and mind-blowing. These caverns are huge with unique features like the pipe organ formation and the “spider monkey.”

One unique area of this Cavern is Crystal Dome.

“The entrance to Crystal Dome Cavern is less than 400 feet from the entrance to Mystic Cavern. Crystal Dome Cavern was discovered in 1967 when a piece of heavy equipment broke through the surface into the void. The first explorers were so impressed by the untouched natural beauty that they camped out by the opening until a gate could be installed to protect this pristine treasure. Crystal Dome was first opened to the public in 1982. This cavern features a dome that is nearly 70 feet tall, the fantastic “Crystal Bell”, and other dripstone formations made with pure white calcite!” -source

You will find Mystic Caverns here:
341 Caverns Dr., Harrison, AR 72601

8. Moonshiners Cave

As you might guess, Moonshiners Cave has quite the history behind it.

“Moonshiners Cave is actually a bluff shelter that started out as a pioneer family root cellar for storing canned vegetables. Apparently in 1905 (the year engraved in the stone), a rock wall was built to enclose the opening, turning it into a ‘cellar.’ The old homestead was located above the bluff. Later, as legend would have it, bootleggers turned the shelter into something quite different than storage for canned veggies. Thus, the name: ‘Moonshiners Cave.’ The three waterfalls are an added attraction.” -source

The trail that leads to Moonshiners Cave is near Devil’s Den State Park but is not maintained by the park. It is actually in the Ozark National Forest. Signage can be a bit sketchy in this area but it’s not hard to find if you know where to go.

Just take the Winslow entrance to Devils Den State Park. You will see the old sign to Devil’s Den on the right and the parking lot is directly across from it.

When you get to the parking lot, walk to your right and you will see the trail to your left.

It’s a short ½ mile walk down the trail to the cave. It can be a rocky area so you will want to wear appropriate shoes. Also, since this trail is not maintained, it can be a fairly buggy area. Fall, winter, and early spring can be excellent times to walk the trail to Moonshiners Cave.

9. Blowing Cave in Cushman

If you want a wild story, look no further than Blowing Cave in Cushman, Arkansas. This cave is famous for its supposed alien encounters with the “blue people.” There have also been stories that tie this cave to Jesse James and his outlaw treasure.

It has been told that there was a saloon of sorts inside Blowing Cave “back in the day.”

At the time of writing, this cave and the property it is on is for sale. However, the owners are doing their best to keep it open for free tours on Sundays.

10. Indian Rock House Cave (Edgemont Shelter) in Fairfield Bay

The Indian Rock House Cave is a special one. It is at the edge of the golf course and you can walk right up to it.

indian rock house cave - edgemont shelter arkansas

“The most spectacular feature of the shelter is the Native American rock art which is the reason this location is included on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the rock art is located on the west side of the shelter. You can see several human figures depicted here as well as a four-legged animal of some variety. In addition to the human and animal figures there are a number of lines and geometric shapes.” -source

You will find Indian Rock House cave here:
337 Snead Dr.
Fairfield Bay, AR 72088

Read more here: This Is Unbelievable! Indian Rock House Cave in Fairfield Bay Arkansas

11. Jesse James’ cave near Calico Rock

Jesse James enjoyed the hill country of the Ozarks here in Arkansas. Unfortunately, Jesse didn’t come for the excellent Arkansas hiking.

Rumors have it that Jesse James hid treasure somewhere in the hills of Calico Rock in Izard County, Arkansas. This place was possibly used as a hideout by the James/Younger gang after the Civil War. I have even read of the cave having a carving in the rock marked, “JJ Hideout.”

I doubt Jesse James wrote this himself. What outlaw would mark his own “outlaw hideout?”

You can read more here: Outlaw Hideouts In Arkansas – Bonnie, Clyde, & The Whole Gang

Come visit our caves in Arkansas

Here in Arkansas, we have plenty of caves to choose from and I am sure you will find one that you like. Whether you want to hike to it, go on a guided tour, or pull right up in your golf cart, you can do it all here in Arkansas!

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