DeSoto Caverns Park

Kymulga Onyx Cave


Useful Information

Location: Near Birmingham on State Hwy. 75, 8km southeast of Childersburg.
Open: JAN to FEB Mon-Sat 10-16:30, Sun 13-16:30 (last tour).
MAR to JUN Mon-Sat 9-17:30, Sun 13-17:30 (last tour).
JUL Mon-Sat 9-17:30, Sun 13-17:30 (last tour).
AUG to OCT Mon-Sat 9-18:30, Sun 13-18:30 (last tour).
NOV top DEC Mon-Sat 10-16:30, Sun 13-16:30 (last tour).
Closed 27-NOV, 25-DEC.
[2014]
Fee: Adults USD 20.99, Children (3-11) USD 17.99, Children (0-2) free.
Groups (20+): Adults USD 15.75, School Children USD 11.
All prices +7% tax.
[2014]
Classification: ExplainKarst cave
Light: electric.
Dimension:  
Guided tours: D=60min.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: DeSoto Caverns Parkway, 5181 DeSoto Caverns Parkway, Childersburn, AL 35044-5663, Toll Free 1-800-933-2283, Fax +1-256-378-7225.
Contact: Tammy Studdard, E-mail: contact.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

~0 AD used by Woodland Indian as a burial site.
1540 first expedition of Don Hernando de Soto.
1723 oldest cave graffiti in the U.S. by I.W. Wright.
1796 first reported by General Superintendent and US Agent for all tribes south of the Ohio River, Benjamin Hawkins.
during the Civil War became a gunpowder mining center.
1912 purchased by Mrs. Ida Mathis to mine onyx, but it failed.
1919-1933 during the prohibition was used for distilling alcohol and became known as "The Bloody Bucket".
1965 leased by Fred Layton who developed it as a show cave and named it Kymulga Onyx Cave.
1965 Copena burials discovered by archaeologists from the University of Alabama.
1975 bought by Allen W. Mathis III, who renamed it DeSoto Caverns.

Description

The DeSoto Caverns got their name because of an old legend: when Don Hernando de Soto made his first expedition into the roaring wilderness of North America, he paused in the wooded hills of southern Alabama. It is said, that he visited a cave called KyMulga Cave and it is conjectured that it was this cave.

The large entrance chamber was used by the Indians for a long time. A small museum displays Indian artifacts. It was also well known to trappers and explorers following de Soto. Several signatures in the cave date from the 1700s.