BERRYVILLE, Ark. — Those who visit or live in the Ozarks and are looking for a taste of adventure can find it at Cosmic Cavern in Berryville, Arkansas. It’s one of the stops on our Daybreak on the Road tour, happening throughout May.
Steve Falkowski is the Senior Tour Guide at Cosmic Cavern. He said the cave was discovered by prospectors in 1845. They were looking for lead, which they didn’t find. But they did find cave onyx, as well as a cave that would eventually get national attention.
“This cave is really, really famous because it is pretty deep compared to most caves, it’s a very warm cave,” said Falkowski. “It’s 63 degrees, the humidity is very high, it feels like 68. But what’s really special about Cosmic Cavern is it’s very well decorated. It has a lot of stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, curtains, ribbons and bacon.”
The very back part of the cave is 250 feet below the surface. Watch the video below to hear how a flood led to a huge discovery in the early 1990s.
“That’s really made the cave because that discovery made national news but also it actually increased the size of the cave. It doubled the size of the cave.”
The standard tour of Cosmic Caverns takes about an hour and 15 minutes to go through. However, for those seeking more adventure, Cosmic Cavern offers what it calls the “Wild Tour.”
This tour is for small groups and is conducted after hours. Tour guides will open up gates and take those who are brave enough into the back part of the cave, where there are no lights.
“It is a real spelunking tour,” Falkowski said. “You’re absolutely guaranteed to come out muddy.”
Falkowski said his favorite part of Cosmic Caverns to show people is the South Lake, which is one of two lakes that are 100 feet deep. Falkowski said it’s features like this that make the cave unique.
Another feature that sets Cosmic Cavern apart is that it’s still an active cave, which means water is dripping all the time and the cave features are still forming. This does mean anyone who tours Cosmic Caverns is likely to get a little damp.
A few other things for visitors to know: Service dogs and small dogs that can be carried are allowed on the tours. Because there are plenty of steps in the cave, Falkowski said tours take their time and encourage people to stop, ask questions, and take pictures. Anyone who has a fear of bats can rest easy…most of the time. There are only about a dozen bats that come to Cosmic Cavern around Thanksgiving and leave around Easter.
Cosmic Cavern is open ten months out of the year. It’s closed in January and February for maintenance. During the Spring and Fall, it’s open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and stays open until 6:00 p.m. during the summer.
Tours are not scheduled to happen at any certain time, so if you stop by, Falkowski said the longest you’ll have to wait is 20 minutes.