Marvel Cave is a popular highlight of a visit to the Silver Dollar City amusement park. Retrace the steps of Native Americans, explorers and vigilantes as you climb staircases deep inside this magnificent national natural landmark. Visit Marvel Cave to admire its ever-changing wet limestone walls and spot stalagmites and stalactites.
Listen to the history and legends of the cave. The earliest cave record is from the 1500s, when it was familiar to the Osage Indians. Local lore claims that a band of outlaws called the Bald Knobbers disposed of enemies in the cave’s sinkhole in the mid 1800s. In the years following, several entrepreneurs led expeditions in the hope of finding valuable rocks and stones. The first tourism activities took place beginning in 1894. In 1960, the cave became a centerpiece of Silver Dollar City, a theme park replicating life in the 1880s.
Guided tours travel through otherworldly caves and tunnels, including a descent of almost 600 stairs, roughly 50 stories. Start by traveling about 300 feet (90 meters) underground to the Cathedral Room, a sinkhole that is among the biggest cave entrances in the U.S.
Duck to pass beneath the ceilings of low tunnels, watch water drip from the limestone walls and observe helictites and the huge Liberty Bell stalagmite. Visit the natural Waterfall Room, about 500 feet (150 meters) below the surface. Exit via a cable car train.
For a more intimate cave experience, join the limited-capacity Lantern Light Tour. Equipped with a personal lantern, follow a guide dressed in pioneer clothing and hear engrossing cave tales. Step into the dingy Mammoth Room, where dozens of bats hang from the walls and a ladder, believed to have been left by 16th-century Spanish explorers, was found.
The cave stands close to the main entrance to Silver Dollar City. Travel west from downtown Branson in 20 minutes by car. Free parking is available.
Admission to Marvel Cave is included with tickets to the amusement park. There is an additional fee for the Lantern Light Tour. The cave and the park’s other attractions are open from March to December. Tours last about 1 hour.