The Natural Bridge Caverns are Texas’s largest commercial caverns. They offer an unrivaled thrilling experience from the array of things to do touring the caverns and enjoying some of the surface attractions.
The caves are located in San Antonio next to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, a wildlife safari park. Interestingly, the caves continue to develop geological formations today and go through changes over time due to natural events.
This is an attraction as visitors get to experience new adventures repeatedly. If you've had enough of New Braunfels' scenic views and amazing craft beer, the Natural Bridge Caverns are a family-friendly activity within driving distance.
What should you look forward to at the caverns?
1. Cavern Tours
This is the caverns’ original and most popular tour. 180 feet below the ground and at 70 degrees temperature accompanied by a tour guide, it offers an other-worldly experience of viewing ancient formations such as flowstones, soda straws, chandeliers, stalactites, and stalagmites.
The full tour takes approximately an hour and photography is allowed as you’ll never want to forget the incredible views. As good practice, it’s important for the Discovery Tour visitors to wear comfortable walking shoes with good traction as the surfaces get wet and steep.
It's Natural Bridge Caverns' most popular tour. Originally the only tour offered, it’s now illuminated with state-of-the-art LED technology.
Hidden Passages Tour
Apart from the Discovery Tour, visitors to The Natural Bridge Caverns get to explore another world-class cave tagged the Hidden Passages Tour. Similarly, 180 feet below the ground and at 70 degrees temperature, the cave has jaw-dropping geological formations that can’t be found anywhere else.
These include soda straw stalactites, welt and turnip shields, and cave ribbon waves. These geological wonders form due to the continuous water-seeping through the limestone making up the cave’s interior. The tour experience lasts for approximately one hour and has a 1/3 mile walking distance.
The Natural Bridge Caverns management continues to seek an expanded tour experience at the cave and thus is committed to having expert construction crews dig deeper to reveal hidden gems.
This is for the adventurous souls who want to explore both caves during one visit. Management advises arriving no later than half an hour before the time allocated on the ticket.
The Discovery Tour and Hidden Passages tour cumulatively take approximately two hours, which must be taken into account when making bookings to ensure that there is enough time to explore both caves.
This is a thrilling adventure that is undertaken accompanied by experienced staff who will guide you on a wild cave trip. Some of the activities to look out for with the Adventure Tour include climbing, hiking, and cavern exploration to see the beautiful formations of over thousands of years.
Interestingly, the down and dirty adventure starts off with the Discovery Tour followed by an off-trail raw adventure with no commercial lighting nor handrails. This is a fun and physically demanding experience that resembles what earlier explorers went through.
Visitors exert themselves physically as they crawl, climb, and slide through exciting excursions in the deepest recesses of the earth. The adventure tour takes up to three hours to explore developed caves and their untouched natural beauty.
All explorers are geared up with helmets, gloves, and headlamps that are the trail’s only source of light. Given the dynamics of this exploration, reservations are required for adequate planning. It is important to note the physical difficulty of the experience.
It is a moderate to hard experience that requires physically fit guests and to ensure your safety, the Natural Bridge Caverns have height and weight limitations in place. Charges for this experience are $169.99 per person.
Private VIP Tours & Experiences
Perfect for families and small groups, Natural Bridge Caverns has crafted private tour options that can be customized by the guests. This can encompass the cave tours and explorations among other activities at the caverns.
Interested individuals can call 210-651-6101 to book or discuss their own customized VIP Tour experience with a professional.
2. Surface Attractions
Walking 180 feet below the ground can be daunting for some people who prefer an above-ground adventure. The Natural Bridge Caverns offers a variety of surface attractions and experiences discussed below:
Bracken Bat Flight Packages
Bracken Cave is located near the Natural Bridge Caverns and is home to one of the largest bat colonies in the world that gather here every summer. The species inhabiting this cave are the Mexican free-tailed bats that play a key ecosystem role by helping with plant pollination, providing food for other animals, and controlling the insect population.
Guests can expect to witness other-worldly scenes when the Bracken Bat Flight happens in the evenings where the bats form a massive and swirling cloud. Additionally, guests to the Natural Bridge Caverns can enjoy both the Bracken Bat Flight and Discovery Tour in the same package.
Important to note is that the two locations are a few miles apart and guests drive themselves to view the bats. As they are wild animals, the happenings are uncontrolled.
Twisted Trails Zip Rails and Ropes Course
The Natural Bridge Caverns has a 60-foot-high ropes course set up, allowing guests to test their balance, agility, and strength on the weave walk, squid steps, and twisted rope. This preparation step includes traditional elements such as vertical rope ladders, lily pads, and double beams.
There are also seven zip trails on-site with over 685 total feet of suspended track where guests can soar high over the tree canopy. Different from riding zip lines, this adventure allows the guest to control the routes and challenges they take to navigate the zip rails in a progressive manner starting off with lower levels.
To ensure the safety of participants, there are limitations set in place on weight and height. Children under four feet tall have the TYKES zip rail and ropes course challenges developed specifically for them.
There are vertical structures such as the Astroball, Face to Face, Twister, and Jungle Gym that are open for climbers to take a challenge head-on. The weight range allowed is 22-300lbs and a minimum height of 42’” to ensure climber safety.
The AMAZEn’ Ranch Roundup
This is a maze experience set with checkpoints, three towers, and a bridge to guide participants if they get lost. The experience is set up between San Antonio and New Braunfels.
More Attractions at the Natural Bridge Caverns
Guests can purchase assorted gems and fossil bags as souvenirs purchased in packages such as the Mother Lode, Emerald Strike, Lucky Strike, Pay Dirt, Fossil Dig, and Arrowhead Find. There also are stores, eateries, a cafe, and Visitor Center for gift purchasing.
If you're thinking about buying property in New Braunfels, you should be aware of best attractions both within the city and within driving distance. With Limestone Country Properties by your side, you'll have the best management services and a vast knowledge of the area, including all its wonders.
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