Like everything in Texas, the Natural Bridge Caverns are big. In fact, they are the largest known caverns in the state. Discovered near San Antonio in 1960, the Natural Bridge Caverns’ name is taken from the 60-foot (18-meter) natural limestone slab bridge that spans the entrance. During excavations, artifacts dating back to 5000 BC were unearthed. While the caverns are still being explored today, visitors can enjoy adventures ranging from underground cave tours to an enormous outdoor maze.
Natural Bridge Caverns offers visitors many experiences, the most popular being a 75-minute walking tour that travels 180 feet (55 meters) underground through the hallways and various speleothems (formations) made by mineral deposits. Aboveground activities include ziplines, a “canopy explorer course,” and the opportunity to mine for gems, minerals, and fossils.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The temperature inside the cave is a constant 70°F (21°C), and the humidity is steady at 99 percent. Consider bringing a light jacket, as it can feel chilly underground.
- Four caverns tours are available: the standard Discovery Tour, the Hidden Passages Tour, the Lantern Tour, and the Adventure Tour.
- The on-site maze is sure to entertain the whole family.
- While the visitor center is wheelchair-accessible, the caverns are not due to narrow, steep passageways.
How to Get There
Natural Bridge Caverns is about a 30-minute drive north of downtown San Antonio, eight miles (13 kilometers) west of I-35.
When to Get There
The Natural Bridge Caverns are open year-round except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. During the holiday season, thousands of twinkling lights illuminate select passages, performers sing Christmas carols, and there’s a fully decorated Christmas village and “reindeer maze.”
Bracken Bat Flight
Just a few miles from Natural Bridge Caverns lies another amazing natural wonder: The evening emergence of one the world’s largest bat colonies. The Bracken Bat Flight consists of millions of free-tailed bats spiraling out of Bracken Cave and taking to the skies on their nightly hunt for insects. Some tours include access to both sites.