Shawnee Cave Amphitheatre

Salt Petre Cave Park - Salt Petre Cave - Shawnee Saltpeter Cave - Shawnee Saltpetre Cave Theater

Useful Information

Location: 20 km west of Carbondale.
I-64 east exit #50, 127 south to Murphysboro, IL. Then 11 km south of Murphysboro, IL on Rt. 127
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Address: Shawnee Saltpetre Cave Theater, Cave Man Bob, 3747 Highway 127, Murphysboro IL 62966, Tel: +1-618-687-9663. 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.



Shawnee Cave Amphitheatre is a 50 acre music park with Illinois' largest natural rock shelter which is used for concerts, reunions and wedding receptions. The park has also strange rock formations and a roaring waterfall, picnic tables, nature trails, and the possibility to use paddle boats and canoes. The floor of the shelter is formed by the mineral potasium nitrate, also known as saltpeter. It was mined and used in the manufacture of gun powder for ammunition. The cave was formerly known under various names including Salt Petre Cave and Shawnee Saltpeter Cave.

Today the site is owned by a concert organizer who offers about six open air concerts per year. Most famous is the Cavefest which takes place in Summer, generally June. The concerts draw people into the area and bring customers for local shops and hotels. But obviously there are also some negative events like violence and drug use, which cause regular descussions among police and local politicians. However, we guess that's a normal by-product of concerts and not a fault of the organizer. We hope this will not lead to the closure of this fine location.