Longhorn Cavern State Park: An Exciting Historical Trip in Texas

A portrait of Sam Bass and two companions.
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Beware: You should never explore wild caves alone or without proper gear. Consider getting in touch with a Grotto of the National Speleological Society at www.caves.org or a qualified cave club. These groups are skilled and will train you. Without sufficient knowledge, preparation, and equipment, cave exploring can lead to serious injury or death.

Longhorn Cavern, a subterranean wonder produced by the eroding and cutting activity of an ancient river, awaits tourists traveling to Texas in search of adventure. The park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, but the cave is the principal attraction here.

It wasn’t until the middle of the nineteenth century that Anglo settlers uncovered the cave. During the Civil War, they mined bat guano to make gunpowder.

The cave is the subject of numerous myths and legends. One claims that outlaw Sam Bass stashed away $2 million there.

Longhorn Cavern State Park, located in the Hill Country less than 90 minutes from Austin, is a one-of-a-kind attraction with breathtaking landscapes and fantastic tales that could only come from Texas.

Featuring an easy cave tour, the whole family can enjoy this trip.

There is also a “wild cave tour” that will delight the true caver(s) among your group.

Cavern Walking Tour

Visit the National Cave of Texas, Longhorn Cavern, and learn about the hidden splendor of the Hill Country.

Follow an ancient watercourse 130 feet below the earth as it winds through cavern after cavern of incredible geological formations. Along the journey, you’ll get to hear the epic tales of the Texans who were molded by and contributed to the creation of this national treasure.

A view of the stone path that leads through the cave at Longhorn Cavern State Park.

Below are things to know:

  • The whole route covers a total of 1.8 km.
  • Guests may expect to be on their feet and moving about for close to 90 minutes.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and shoes with adequate grip. Depending on the amount of rain that has fallen, the route might be muddy in spots.
  • From the surface, you’ll have to descend and ascend 52 stone stairs to reach the cave’s entrance.
  • There may be many occasions along the trip when visitors need to duck depending on their height. Both the starting and ending locations of the excursion are 4 feet, 4 inches below sea level.
  • The vast majority of tours have a quick “blackout.” For more details, see your guidebook.
  • Wheelchair access to tourist facilities and subterranean paths is limited at Longhorn Cavern State Park because of the park’s historic history.
  • Only certified service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, are allowed within the cavern and park facilities. Do not leave dogs in a hot car or unattended vehicle.

Wild Cave Tour

Are you ready to wriggle, climb and crawl? The wild cave trip travels down the cave’s ‘basement and It’s an excellent first spelunking adventure as you stroll, crawl, and push your way into the cave, you’ll become a bit damp and dirty.

Primitive caving is what you can expect on the Wild Cave Tour. You just need to bring yourself and a healthy dose of curiosity; safety gear is provided.

Buy tickets for the Wild Cave Tour either online or at the park’s information center. I recommend that you purchase tickets online in order to guarantee your selected tour time.

This primitive caving tour will take your exploration to a whole new level.

An image of the large tunnel inside Longhorn Cavern State Park's caves, carved out by a river.

You’ll find it in its natural state, unaltered by the addition of electricity and walkways. The Wild Cave Tour is a crawling and writhing journey into the unfinished cave’s lowest level. 

However, upon completion, participants receive a free “Wild Cave Tour Finisher” t-shirt.

Prior to beginning the trip, all participants must fill out and sign the Wild Cave Waiver.

The Wild Cave Tour is a very strenuous endeavor. Those attending should be in reasonably good health to take part.

To join in, visitors need to be at least 8 years old. All attendees under the age of 18 must have a participating parent, guardian, or adult participant.

In the Wild Cave Tour, you’ll go through some rather tight spaces. Guests with a circumference larger than 52 inches (at the hips, shoulders, etc.) cannot take part.


The following items are provided, but experienced cavers may wish to bring their own:


  • Tee with long sleeves
  • The Long Johns
  • Shoes (or caving boots!) that keep your toes tucked in and provide decent traction
  • A cleaning towel
  • Alternate attire and footwear

ALERT: Garments are susceptible to filth and damage. In addition, no handheld cameras are permitted on this trip. Feel free to bring body-mounted ones.

A dog statue formed in the caves at Longhorn Cavern State Park, carved out by water and shown here.
The famous “dog statue” at Longhorn Cave

Longhorn Cavern State Park FAQs

Is there a place to go to the bathroom down here in the cavern?

No, the visitor center is the only place to use the bathrooms. Visitors are welcome to use the restrooms before the tour starts.

Is it necessary for children to be accompanied by an adult while doing the Cavern Walking Tour?

The Cavern Walking Tour is appropriate for children of all ages. While most youngsters like the cave, not all of them feel comfortable in the darkness and cramped confines. Furthermore, there are no facilities for relieving oneself in the cave.

Parents should evaluate their child’s attention span and physical endurance before purchasing tickets. Keep an eye on your children throughout the tour, because if they become disruptive or act out, you may be asked to leave early. No reimbursements will be given after the tour has departed Crystal City.

Please keep your children close by and on the path while exploring the cavern.

Where can I book my tour of the Longhorn Cavern State Park?

When you’re ready to book a tour, visit here.

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