Blanchard Springs Caverns

 

 Blanchard Springs Caverns Battleship Formation

 Blanchard Springs Caverns

Located in Stone County, approximately 2 miles off Highway 14 near Mountain View, the Blanchard Springs Caverns is one of the most spectacular and carefully developed caves found anywhere.  Visitors enter a "living" cave where glistening formations like stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and flowstones are still changing.  These crystalline formations are the result of minerals deposited by dripping water.  Forest Service interpreters guide all tours

Stroll through large, beautifully lighted rooms with handrails and paved trails for comfortable walking. Climb over rocks, crawl through and slide down red clay mud in an undeveloped section of the Caverns. Tour the “Water Works” exhibit hall and view the movie “The Amazing World Below” which introduces you to the underground world.

Blanchard Springs Caverns is a three-level cave system, two of which are open for guided tours.  Click on the links below to get more information about each of the following tours.

Dripstone Trail

This shorter, easier trail takes you almost half a mile one-way through the Caverns. All stairs can be avoided, making trails accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. For more informatin click the link above.


Discovery Trail
Open June-August. This longer, more strenuous tour is 1.2 miles long, with nearly 700 stairsteps.he longer, more strenuous of the trails explores the middle level of the Caverns system. For more information click on the link above.  Discovery in the Dark Headlamp tours are conducted in the last part of the Discovery Trail, September through May. Visitors are supplied with helmets and headlamps, and tours are conducted by Forest Service guides with the cave lights off.


Wild Cave Tour
This tour offers you an introduction to off trail caving in a structured environment. The newest of the Caverns tours takes visitors to the undeveloped sections of the middle level.  Click the link above to get more information 

Cave Safety 
All caves and mines on National Forest lands except for Blanchard Springs Caverns are closed to the public to prevent and slow the spread of White Nose Syndrome, a condition that is killing hundreds of thousands of bats throughout the northeastern United States and recently confirmed in Arkansas. 

Cave Weather
Blanchard Springs Caverns has a constant year-round temperature of 58°F and nearly 100% relative humidity. You may want to bring a lightweight jacket. The paved trails tend to be wet, so you should wear low-heeled, nonslip shoes.   All facilities at the Visitor Center are fully accessible. 

Reservations
Tour reservations are recommended, especially during the summer, for groups, and when you are on a tight schedule. For tour times and reservations go to www.recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777. Reservations are required for the Wild Cave Tour. If a Wild Cave tour is not listed, please call the Caverns at (870)-757-2211.

Groups of 15 or more people get a discount on the Dripstone and Discovery tours when reservations are made at least a day in advance. More information about Group Discounts can be obtained here.

Reservations for group camp site, picnic shelters (group shelter electric) and amphitheater (group walk to) are now reserved at www.recreation.gov or (877) 444-6777.


Pets
Pets are not allowed in the Visitor Center or Caverns: seeing-eye dogs and service dogs are an exception. There are no kennels. Pet are welcome in the recreation areas, outside the swimming areas, as long as they are leashed.

Directions 
Blanchard Springs Caverns is located 15 miles northwest of Mountain View off Arkansas 14Note: If you are using a GPS unit for directions to Blanchard Springs Caverns, please remove dirt roads from the GPS settings for your benefit.

Recreational Opportunities Nearby
The Sylamore Ranger District lies in the heart of the Ozarks. Here you can see picturesque rock bluffs, swim in crystal clear streams, fish for trout or smallmouth bass, hunt for various in-season game, or hike wooded hillsides. On the White and Buffalo Rivers, which border the district to the east and west, you can enjoy fine float fishing and canoeing.  Spring wildflowers, summer greenery, autumn foliage, and winter views bring beauty to every season. The abundant wildlife tends to be secretive, but you may spot a deer, brilliant butterflies, singing birds, or a darting lizard. Come and enjoy your national forest while camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, hunting, biking, or driving the Sylamore Scenic Byway. For more information on recreational opportunities on the forest, click here.

Arkansas's unique Ozark Folk Center State Park is America's only facility that works at preserving the Ozark heritage and presenting it in such an entertaining way.

Visit historic downtown Mountain View, Arkansas, the "Folk Music Capital of the World."

Some things in the natural system seem exempt from the passage of time. Blanchard Springs is one. Today, water still pours abundantly from the spring.

 Cave Life
The entrance zone is most like the surrounding surface area. Some shade-loving green plants grow in the twilight zone but extend only to the deepest point where light penetrates. Temperature in the variable temperature zone fluctuates with the weather outside the cave. Deeper into the cave, in the constant temperature zone , the temperature stays at 58 degrees regardless of weather on the surface.

Cave Formations
Many factors determine the shape that speleothems will take. How the acid water enters the cave - by dripping, flowing, seeping, splashing - and how it flows or stands after entering, are just two of these factors.

Cave Geology