You could line up with most others at the gorgeous and intriguing Natural Bridge Caverns inside San Antonio's city limits, or you could go just a bit further to the equally entrancing, but less populated Cascade Caverns, which opened for commercial business in 1932. The caverns are open year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (excluding major holidays). This site is not handicapped accessible.
The ever-changing topography of the region is as much a part of its history as its native inhabitants. The land tells a story of its own about the evolution of the city. You'll leave the world above, go below the Earth's surface, and discover a whole new world.
Cascade Caverns are a geological wonder of nature, taking shape over millions of years. Over hundreds of years, archeologists, miners, and geologists have gone spelunking in the shallow depths and made incredible discoveries. Among these are the bones from a saber-toothed tiger and mastodon. In addition to prehistoric findings, there are also unique living creatures in the caverns. A rare species of salamander calls the caverns home, as do rare cave beetles. Tricolored bats hang around this dark and temperate hideout, too.
A local news station took an adventure through the caverns, as seen in the video below:
As you wander through the limestone corridors, stunning natural formations, such as stalagmites and stalactites, hang above you. Explore the oldest living cavern in Texas and find your way to flowing wonders like aquifers and even a waterfall. The hollows, called rooms, each bear a unique name. You can find the waterfall in the Cathedral Room, which is part of the lower cave. There were once seven waterfalls to be found here, which is how the caverns got their name. However, all but one waterfall dried up due to droughts, and even that one no longer flows from its natural source.
You don't have to be a geologist to explore the caverns and surrounding landscape. Take a one hour guided spelunking expedition through the caverns and learn about this cave of wonders. There are several guided tours available starting at $12.95. Guests are invited to forge through the quarries for fossils, rocks, gems, and minerals. They even provide you with a sifter, digging tool, and jar in which to put your spoils.
Cover image by mlhradio via Flickr under license CC BY-NC 2.0