Longhorn Cavern State Park’s Wild Cave Tour Review & Pictures [Burnet, TX, USA]

Longhorn Cavern is a Civilian Conversation Corps-project from the 1930’s involving the excavation and uncovering of a natural underground cave system in the heart of Texas hill county. They offer several tours of the cave such as the easy and informative walking tour, spooky paranormal tour (hopefully one day!), and the muddy wild cave tour.

So of course we chose the wild cave tour….

Location: Burnet, TX 78611

Website: http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/longhorn-cavern

Price: $70 for wild cave tour (2.5 hours), no park entrance fee

Gearing Up

The first step when we arrived was to don the gear that was going to allow us to survive the muddy and rocky Longhorn Cavern. Since we would be crawling around on our hands and knees, we had elbow and knee pads. We also wore helmets with headlamps… Thank God for that helmet as I probably would have gotten a concussion in there without it.

Cave Entrance
The ominous entrance to the cave… apologies for the shaky hand photography.

At this point the guide went over the rules that would help protect the park and protect ourselves. It is really easy to think that you are a special case and if you break a rule or two it’s not a big deal. That’s simply not the case for “live” caves. There are lifeforms and minerals on the walls and ceiling that would take THOUSANDS of years to return if you simply touch them (oils on your hand). So don’t touch rocks, don’t rip up trails, don’t pick flowers in the park…

That will be all for my rant on how to keep parks beautiful for your grandchild’s grandchildren.

Inside the Cave

Big Cavern
Some areas of the cave were over 50 feet tall in the main section.

The walking tour takes a beautiful stroll through the main cavern. Guides will tell stories about the Native Americans, Confederate forces, Speakeasy bars, and all the amazing history that this place has in it’s walls. I highly recommend this route if you don’t want to crawl through the mud like myself.

Well
A vertical well formed by millions of years of erosion.
Crystal Cavern
You’ll say “oooh” and “aaah” when you walk through the sparkling crystal cavern.

Wild Cave Tour

This is the fun part: squeeze, twist, and crawl through the muddy cave! Our tour guide would take us about 50-100 feet and we would regroup as he explained some of the rock formations and interesting facts about the cave.

Inner Cave Fun
The only picture from inside the tour as most of the time we were covered in mud and didn’t want to ruin the camera.

You can see a good amount of mud on my hands and knees. In some areas the mud was so thick that it would create suction and try to rip off your knee pads! Definitely an experience I would recommend to non-claustrophobic adventurers.

The Tightest Squeeze
The Tightest Squeeze. My long legs proved to make the tight spots more difficult.

Walk Around the Park

After escaping the eternal darkness inside the cave we decided to check out the rest of the park with a quick walk. It is probably the smallest Texas state park we have… but I’d have to double check that.

We followed the route of Nature Trail Loop A to the 3 Minute Loop trail and ended up at the observation tower. I’d say it was about 0.5 miles of walking in total.

Sandy Trail
Sandy and Gravel-y trail that led us to the 3-minute loop.
Cool Tree
I’ve always been amazed by the trees that survive the rough Texas Hill County climate.
Observation Tower View
Beautiful landscape view of Texas Hill County from a historic tower in the heart of the park.

Review and Recommendations

I strongly recommend the Wild Cave Tour at Longhorn Cavern State Park if you are capable (and willing) of crawling through mud and squeezing through some tight spaces. It was a fairly active crowd but part of our group was a father/daughter team probably aged around 40/10 years old… and if they can troop through it you can too!

The rest of the park is pretty uneventful so I would not recommend visiting if you don’t wish to experience the caves. Have fun out there on your adventures!