Monday, April 2, 2012

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Longhorn Cavern State Park ~ Burnet, Texas

 Another hidden gem in the Texas Hill Country, Longhorn Cavern State Park is a fantastic place to take the family for the day.   The highlight of the park being the Caverns, created thousands of years ago by the flow of rushing water and the limestone, over-abundant in the area.
There are several tours to choose from to explore the caves with.  We choose the guided Daily tour. We were there for Spring Break, and found the caverns busy, so we had a short wait to check out the entire  park before the tour began.

The entrance to the cave is buried in the trees, so you really don't know what to expect until you start to descend the stairs.  And then the excitement builds.....your going exploring in a cave!!
 The hour and a half tour with a professional guide is a fascinating glimpse into the past, with stories of Indian Council Meetings, a Texas Ranger assisted kidnapping rescue, and 1920's "nightclub" dances. Along with the fun stories, your guide points out unique structures, like the Queen's Watch Dog, Abe Lincoln's face, or an occasional bat. 
 What makes the caves unique, is the fact that they were river-formed, a distinction that only 5% of caves have. Longhorn Caverns is one of the few river-formed caves that you can visit in Texas.  The smooth walls, created by rushing water, are beautiful.  And the domes in the ceiling created by whirlpools, where the river changed directions, were spectacular pieces of natural art to view.
 My children loved the sparkle of the crystals, such as in the Crystal City.
 The illuminations made several ooh and ahh in delight.
And we loved hearing the different names given to all the unique structures found in the caves.

There are more challenging tours, for those who like to crawl in tiny spaces and get dirty.  The Wild Cave Tour is available by reservation only.  Also, I am looking forward to going back to check out their Paranormal Tour - ohhh fun!!

There are several Natural Trails to hike scattered throughout the property.  And you can explore the buildings the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built and used in the 1930s, when Longhorn Caverns was designated as a National Landmark.  My kids enjoyed climbing the observation tower, where you can see a wonderful view of the Texas Hill Country.
Pack a picnic lunch and make a day out of it.  There is a Snack Bar  available as well with a great lunch menu.  And don't forget to check out the nice gift shop.  Pick up a geode or some pyrite to remind you of the unique rock structures you viewed in the cave.  Also, look at their Event Calendar - the evening we were there was a concert in the cave - how fun!  With so much to do, Longhorn Cavern State Park is worth the drive!

More Fun Things to do in the Hill Country:



Texas Travel Facts for Longhorn Cavern State Park:
Location: 6211 Park Road 4S Burnet, Texas
Hours: Winter Hours: M-F Tours held at 11, 1 and 3pm  Sat, Sun, & Holiday Tours  10 am - 4 pm Hourly
            Summer Hours: Monday - Sunday 10 am - 4 pm Hourly Tours
Admission: Adults: $12.99
                   Teens (13-19): $11.99
                   Children (2 -12): $7.99
Recommended Time: 2-3 hours
Good to know: Wear comfortable, rubber-soled shoes; the cave remains a constant 68 degrees, so it is not chilly; strollers can be taken, but might be tricky with the stairs and terrain; bring a picnic lunch (tables are available outside); great gift shop

I were invited to to visit and was provided one free ticket to tour the Caverns.  I was not financially compensated for this post.  All opinions of Longhorn Cavern State Park are strictly my own based on my experience.  

6 comments:

MiMi said...

Yeah, that looks super cool...except for the bat!

Connie Weiss said...

That looks really cool! I love caves....unless my daughter is lost in one.

Steve said...

I'm going to pass on both the paranormal tour and the crawling in tiny spaces outing, but I could probably handle the tour you guys went on. Do all caves stay at the same temperature? I guess it makes sense, I just never really thought about it.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

This looks like a wonderful place to explore. My guy would love it.

Tonya @ The Traveling Praters said...

I wish I would have known about this attraction when we actually passed near Texas Hill Country a few years ago. My family enjoys exploring caves and caverns so I'll add this to my ever growing list- just in case we make it back through Texas someday. I have to say that I'm impressed with your pictures- they certainly turned out better than any of mine ever do in a cave. Beautiful!

Sabrina said...

Nice!! How do they compare to the Sonora Caverns? I've been to those and am wondering if the Longhorn Caverns would be worth another trip.