Bull Shoals Caverns

Bull Shoals Caverns and Mountain Village 1890

Useful Information

Location: From Hwy 62/412, take Hwy 178 to Bull Shoals, Arkansas. Four blocks off Hwy 178 at town center.
Open: 15-MAR to 15-MAY Wen-Sun 10-17.
16-MAY to Labor Day daily 9-18.
Labor Day to OCT Thu-Mon 10-17.
NOV Fri-Sun 10-16.
Combi ticket with Mountain Village 1890 available. [2004]
Fee: Adults USD 10, Children (6-11) USD 6, Seniors (65+) USD 9, AAA Members USD 9.
Plus tax. [2004]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=45 min. self guided.
Address: Bull Shoals Caverns, PO Box 444, 1011 C. S. Woods Boulevard, Bull Shoals, AR 72619, Tel. +1-501-445-7177. 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.



The caves main claim to fame is that it is a level concrete pathway throughout. The cave was a natural shelter for the native Americans with evidence of a habitation site in the Rotunda. The underground trout stream is cross by a firm steel bridge as the two underground rivers, crossed by similar bridges. Speleothems abound and the tour ends at an underground waterfall.

Text by Tony Oldham (2004). With kind permission.

The sign outside the cave tells "This cavern ... contains, as verified by professional speleologists, every formation that is found in any cave in the United States." While there are actually no professional speleologists, the whole testimony lacks both sense and truth. Cave formations are actually found in great abundance, and there is a 470 pages thick book named Cave Minerals of the World which easily makes clear that there is no way this small cave can have all of them. And on the other hand, what does it matter? It will actually not change the cave itself if you know how many different speleothems it contains. The quality and beauty of the speleothems is probably of much bigger interest.

While both Tony and I are astonished by the naivety with which the cave is advertised by the quality of the concrete path and the number of different speleothems, the cave has numerous interesting peculiarities which make a visit worth while. The small cave has actually interesting speleothems, like some fine boxworks. It is located on a peninsula in an artificial lake called Bull Shoals Lake. It is also located in the middle of the town Bull Shoals. While it is rare to find caves in cities, the lake is even more astonishing. The existence of caves requires karst, which actually equals to underground drainage through cave systems. To build a dam in such an area generally does not result in a lake, as the water tends to flow through the caves and avoid the dam.