Texas is packed full of natural beauty, from swimming holes to deserts. To admire some of the most unique aspects of Texas’ landscape, though, you have to dive deep–literally–and explore the best caves in Texas.
Here are the most interesting caves and caverns in Texas, plus a map to help you decide which ones to visit!
10 Best Texas Caves to Visit
Natural Bridge Caverns
Named for its stunning, naturally occurring, 60-foot limestone bridge, Natural Bridge Caverns have been delighting visitors for decades, and it is the largest cavern in Texas that you can visit!
Natural Bridge Caverns offer a variety of different tours, so no matter what kind of caving in Texas experience that you’re looking for, you’ll find something here!
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Caverns of Sonora
Widely considered one of the most beautiful caves in Texas and even in the world, the founder of the National Speleological Association, Bill Stephenson, once said this about the Caverns of Sonora: “This is the most indescribably beautiful cave in the world, its beauty cannot be exaggerated, not even by a Texan.”
With a sales pitch like that, it’s not hard to see why the Caverns of Sonora are among the most famous caverns in Texas–even if they are located a few hours from any of Texas’ larger cities.
For a peak inside the Caverns of Sonora, check out the top photo on this blog post!
Located in the aptly-named Longhorn Cavern State Park, Longhorn Cavern was formed by an ancient river, and has a distinct appearance that separates it from many of these Texas caves.
While the state park can be visited at any time, touring the cavern–either on a basic walking tour or on the more-adventurous wild cave tour–requires booking a guided tour.
Unlike most of these caverns in Texas, you can’t actually go inside the impressive Devil’s Sinkhole, but staring down into the gigantic shaft (50 feet wide by 140 feet deep) that opens into the cavern is impressive enough to be worth a visit.
And, that’s even before you add in the most popular reason to visit the Devil’s Sinkhole: the bat colony that lives there from late spring to early fall.
Cave Without a Name
Featuring beautiful, intricate formations, some would argue that the Cave Without a Name is the most beautiful cave in Texas–which is part of how it got its (lack of) name.
In 1939, a contest was held to name the cave, and a boy won with the suggestion that the cave was simply too pretty to have a name. Ever since, this cavern outside of Boerne has been referred to as the Cave Without a Name.
Caves at Colorado Bend State Park
Colorado Bend State Park is home to over 400 caves, including the beautiful Gorman Cave, and with advance reservations and a guided tour, you can explore some of them for yourself!
Inner Space Cavern
In 1963, a Texas Highway Department drilling team accidentally discovered the magnificent Inner Space Cavern while working on one of the most constant and ubiquitous of all Texas construction projects–the expansion of I-35.
Just a few years later, in 1966, this gorgeous cave opened to the public and has been greeting guests ever since!
Located in Boerne, Cascade Caverns has been an informal, and later formal, tourist attraction dating back at least to the 19th century, and it is incredibly beautiful.
An adventurous spelunking tour of its lower cave systems will take you all the way to the aquifer that lies beneath the cave–but more traditional tours, showing off the stunning Cathedral Room, are also worth a visit.
Each summer, Bracken Cave hosts 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats–making Bracken Cave home to the largest bat colony in the world!
If you’re visiting at the right time of year, you’ll never forget visiting to watch the bats fly out from the cave near sunset (advance reservations are required).
In 2010, Kickapoo Cavern became the namesake for the newly-formed Kickapoo Cavern State Park.
While the park is home to around 20 small caves, Stuart Bat Cave and Kickapoo Cavern are the most significant.
Unlike many of these caverns in Texas, Kickapoo Cavern is undeveloped, making the tours you can take there a bit more like an adventurous hike than a simple stroll.
Tours are given only on Saturdays, you can make reservations here.
Bonus: Carlsbad Cavern
Located in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Carlsbad Cavern actually isn’t in Texas at all–it’s in New Mexico!
However, since it’s located just a hop, skip, and a jump over the border (or to be more precise, half an hour from Texas’ Guadalupe Mountains National Park), it’s an easy addition to a west Texas vacation and worth mentioning here!
The national park features over 100 caves, but is named for the incredibly impressive Carlsbad Cavern, which is where you’ll find the popular and aptly named Big Room that measures a whopping 4000 feet long and 225 feet high!
Tips for Visiting Caves in Texas
Check if you need reservations before making the drive.
Many of these caverns in Texas require a bit of advance planning to visit, such as joining a tour and/or booking in advance. Some also have limited hours.
Be sure to check before setting off, as many of these Texas caves no doubt require quite the drive to reach!
Consider taking an adventure tour.
Many of these Texas caves offer adventure tours, where you can duck, crawl, climb, and explore the less-developed parts of the caverns in a small-group setting.
Generally, you’ll need a bit of athleticism and a distinct lack of tendencies toward claustrophobia in order to complete an adventure tour, but no caving experience.
We count our adventure tour of Cascade Caverns, which took us all the way down to swimming in the underground aquifer, as one of the most memorable adventures we’ve ever had in Texas!
Dress for the (cave) weather.
Caves in Texas tend to maintain constant temperatures and very humid weather–check on the weather specifics of the cave you plan on visiting before setting out.
Map of the Best Caverns in Texas