Co-founder of the National Speleological Society Bill Stephenson once said of the stunning environment found in the Caverns of Sonora that “…its beauty cannot be exaggerated, even by Texans”. It’s a wry comment on our propensity to make everything seem bigger in Texas but in this National Natural Landmark’s case, the statement happens to be true. The Caverns of Sonora formed approximately two million years ago when underground sulfuric gases rose through faults in limestone. Water percolated into the caverns over millennia creating some of the most beautiful, known cave formations in the country. A two-mile interpretive tour takes visitors 155 feet deep into the earth through narrow passageways layered with stalagmites and stalactites of innumerable shapes and sizes. The caverns remain seventy-one degrees year-round and 95% of the formations are considered active, meaning the processes that created the formations continue to add to existing forms as well as creating new ones. The Caverns of Sonora site, located on private ranchlands, was first discovered when a dog chased a raccoon into a twenty-inch opening in the ground. The site offers group and specialty tours of the caverns as well as other activities like gemstone panning, orienteering, and rope techniques. Camping, both tent and RV, are also available…above ground, of course.
Caverns of Sonora
Ages 12 and older: $18, Ages 4-11: $16, Under age 4: Free
Daily. Labor Day to February 29: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
March 1 to Labor Day: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Closed Christmas Day.