What are the Natural Bridge Caverns? Your Meyer Ranch Guide.
A natural wonder located less than 10 miles from Meyer Ranch, the Natural Bridge Caverns are the largest known commercial caverns in Texas. They are located next to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, a drive-through wildlife safari park.
The caverns were discovered by four college students in 1960. The students had obtained permission from the landowners to explore the area and hoped to prove their theory that large underground passages existed beneath the site’s 60-foot natural limestone bridge. Their theory was proven to be correct, leading to development of what are the Natural Bridge Caverns.
How the Caverns Came to Be
The name of this natural attraction comes from the 60 ft natural limestone slab bridge that spans the amphitheater setting of the cavern’s entrance. The span was left suspended when a sinkhole collapsed below it.
For those still asking themselves, “What are the Natural Bridge Caverns” before planning a trip to the site, here’s a little more information. The caverns feature several unique speleothems (more commonly known as stalagmites and stalactites) and other geological formations. The temperature inside the cave is 70 degrees year-round and the humidity rate is a constant 99 percent. The deepest part of the public tour is 180 feet below the surface, although undeveloped areas of the cavern reach depths of 230 feet.
The caverns are still slowly developing, and they’re still being explored. In 2005, several hundred feet were added to the surveyed length of the cave. There are still more unexplored leads in sections of the Discovery Passages (North Cavern).
Since the caverns are made up of porous limestone, when rainwater enters the caverns it flows and drips constantly throughout, creating the formations and giving them a waxy luster seen in few caverns.
How to Explore the Natural Bridge Caverns
The Natural Bridge Caverns are open to the public most days with the exception of major holidays. There are a variety of types and lengths of guided tours to choose from, and the site also holds several special events every year, such as trail runs or archery challenges.
If you’re interested in a New Braunfels adventure tour of the caverns, here are a few of the options you can choose from:
The Discovery Tour – Walk 180 feet below the ground and travel through half a mile of these spectacular caverns. An experienced guide will explain the various formations you’ll see along the way, including stalagmites and stalactites, flowstones, chandeliers, and soda straws. Photos are not only allowed, they’re encouraged!
The Hidden Passages Tour – Experience the caverns in a unique way on this tour, which includes a brief time in total darkness as all lights are turned off! The Hidden Passages are home to rare and delicate formations, including unusually long soda straw stalactites, waves of cave ribbon and many welt and turnip shields.
The fun’s not over when you’ve finished your caverns tour! There’s plenty more to do and explore above ground, too.
The Zip Rails & Rope Course will make you feel like you’re flying! With over 300 total feet of suspended track, you can soar high over the tree canopy. It’s like riding a zip line, but the best part is you are in control of what challenges and routes you take as you navigate to the zip rails. There’s even a smaller version for the kiddos.
The Canopy Challenge is a fun opportunity to check your balance on four stories worth of obstacles. You have up to 30 minutes to grapple your way to the top of our 60-foot, four-tier ropes course. Your agility and strength will be tested on 47 fascinating obstacles, such as the Burma Buckets and Criss-Cross Tight Ropes that will have your mind and your muscles straining.
You’ll definitely want a souvenir to help you remember this beautiful, exciting natural attraction. Discovery Village Trading Post has a wide variety of items, from rocks and minerals to the more traditional T-shirts. You’ll also want to visit Big Daddy’s Sweets, Treats and Brew to take the edge off your appetite and quench your thirst!
Now that we’ve answered the question, “What are the Natural Bridge Caverns?” it’s time to book one of these exciting San Antonio adventure tours, so close to your new home at Meyer Ranch!
Visit Meyer Ranch today!
To tour Meyer Ranch, and visit our builders’ model homes, call us at 830-213-7393 or visit us at 9666 W. Hwy 46, New Braunfels, TX, 78132. We can’t wait to meet you and show you our beautiful community!