Natural Bridge Caverns is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its discovery this year with a summer-long offering of activities and promotions dubbed “Discovery Days.” Discovered in 1960 by four San Antonio college students on a family ranch, the caverns have since been owned and operated by the Wuest family for three generations. They are the largest caverns in Texas at over two miles long, with the largest room measuring the size of a football field.
“A lot of people have been here before,” explains Travis Wuest, Vice President of Natural Bridge Caverns, “but the attraction has really changed over the years. For example, we now offer four different, unique tours where, just a decade ago, we only offered one.” One such tour, titled the “Illuminations” tour, takes cave-goers through parts of the caverns that were previously not open to the public, highlighting some of the cave’s most delicate and spectacular formations. In contrast, the “Discovery” tour features the largest rooms in the cavern. In addition, reservations can be made for two distinct “Adventure” tours, a 3-4 hour guided cave excursion designed to simulate the experience of caving.
It’s not just changes to the attractions at the caverns that draw visitors back year after year. The caverns themselves are in a constant state of flux, as many of the formations continue to grow. And while over two and half miles of the system have been currently mapped, experts believe there is potentially an additional mile or more that has yet to be fully explored. Already, the Wuest family is working to lay down plans to open up the additional space, as well offer new attractions at ground level.
“There’s so much to do here,” Travis says. “A family could really make a day of it.” Ground level attractions such as panning for fossils and gems, rock climbing and even a neighboring wildlife ranch only add to caverns’ appeal.
While specific events, dates and times have yet to be released, visitors are encouraged to visit the Natural Bridge Caverns website at naturalbridgecaverns.com to keep posted on upcoming “Discovery Days” attractions throughout the summer months of June, July and August.
While the Wuest family intends to expand the attraction in the future, Travis assures the community that activities at Natural Bridge Caverns will always be themed around, “nature, family and adventure,” much like the caves themselves.
The caverns are located 30 miles outside San Antonio off I35. Open daily from 9-4 with extended summer hours, the caverns are an excellent opportunity to experience one of Texas’ great geological treasures.
For more information call 210-651-6101 or visit their website, naturalbridgecaverns.com.