Family Vacations: Blanchard Springs Caverns

Courtesy of USDA Photo Service One of the cave formations resembles a battleship.

Blanchard Springs Caverns is a living cave that continues to grow moment by moment as drops of water thick with minerals add to its columns and walls. It is located in the Ozark St. Francis National Forest.

The cave has two paved, lighted trails, one of which is especially fun to visit with younger children. The Dripstone Trail tour begins with an elevator trip down 200 feet. At the bottom, concrete pathways with handrails wind through water-carved passages. Forest Service guides lead the tour and provide interesting facts about Blanchard. Discovery Trail is more strenuous than Dripstone and explores the middle portion of the cave.

Visitors can view the natural stone shaft where the first explorers descended by rope and discovered one of the largest flowstones in the world. Participants on the Wild Cave tours head into more undeveloped reaches of the cavern system, where they crawl up and down dirt slopes, squeeze through tight spots, and scramble over large rocks.

Blanchard Springs Caverns Information

Address: 1001 E. Main St., Mountain View, AR

Telephone: 870/757-2211 or 888/757-2246

Hours of Operation:

  • Early Sept.-Late Mar.: Daily, 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Admission: Cost varies by tour

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Arkansas State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Arkansas, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.