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