Natural Bridge Caverns

                              Zip It

Zip Line from the Canopy Challenge

There's more than the famed caves to visit during a day out at Natural Bridge Caverns near New Braunfels. The attraction includes a maze, gem and fossil mining, tours through the renowned caverns-of course!- and this canopy challenge, which includes zip lines across the spectacular Hill Country landscape. Enjoy an "Everyday Journeys" day out at Natural Bridege Caverns with Harry and Linda Kaye pewrez in a coming issue of the LaVernia News


Published in the LaVernia News on June 5, 2014

Entrance and Natural Bridge  copy

     Created by natural forces millennia ago, Natural Bridge Caverns near New Braunfels offers a great day out for the whole family

Natural Bridge Caverns 

Offers Highs, Lows

Everyday Journeys

    Harry and Linda Kaye Perez

         Imagine standing on solid ground and all of a sudden the earth gives way and everything around you falls into a deep sinkhole. You are left standing on a 60-foot long limestone slab bridge spanning the remaining sides. If you were just 17 miles north of downtown San Antonio, about 5 to 20 million years ago, you would have witnessed the creation of the iconic natural stone bridge at what is now known as the Natural Bridge Caverns. It is believed that the Balcones Fault Zone formed in Texas due to settling of the coastal regions and tectonic stresses created cracks in the rock. Moving underground water carved the passages of the cave. As the water receded, the layers of rock collapsed and formed not only the domes inside the cave, but most likely caused the sinkhole creating the natural stone bridge.

Navigating the Canopy Challenge


            On March 27, 1960, four students from St. Mary’s University discovered a cave that would become known as the Natural Bridge Caverns, the largest commercial caverns in Texas. The landowner, Mrs. Clara Wuest, wanted to share this discovery with the world and funded the development of the caverns. Work on trails and lights began in 1963 and continued until opening day, July 3, 1964. The caverns have been open ever since and are still owned and operated by family members.

        The first section discovered was called the North Cavern and, as exploration continued, the South Cavern was discovered in 1968. In 2008, the Caverns' owners changed the names for the passages. The "North Cavern" was changed to "Discovery Passages," and the "South Cavern" was changed to "Hidden Passages" to better reflect the discovery and exploration history of the caverns. There are numerous tours available, from easy to extreme.

             DISCOVERY PASSAGES TOUR: This was the original tour and remains the most popular, introducing visitors to an underground world of natural beauty and amazement. It will take you 180 feet below ground level to view ancient formations that were centuries in the making and that are still growing today. The Hall of the Mountain Kings is the largest room in the caverns, measuring 350 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 100 feet high (that is the size of a football field). This tour lasts approximately 75 minutes.

Big Daddy's-Best Lemonade in Town

     HIDDEN PASSAGES TOUR: The Hidden Passages are highly decorated with unusually long soda straws, stalactites, waves of cave ribbon, and other intriguing formations.  Another unique experience only offered on this tour occurs when all the lights are turned off and you experience total darkness. Tours leave every 40 minutes and take approximately 70 minutes.

          LANTERN TOUR: This is the first tour of the day departing at 9:00 a.m. You enter the Discovery Passages illuminated only by the light of your cave lantern, just like the original discoverers did decades ago.

         ADVENTURE TOURS: The Hidden Passages Adventure Tour and the Discovery Passages Adventure Tour allows the more daring and adventurous souls an opportunity to strap on rappelling gear, helmets, and headlamps to have the experience of exploring the unknown with an experienced guide. Tours last three to four hours, are only offered on Saturday and Sunday mornings, are limited to six people, and require reservations.

            BE PREPARED

            Inside the caverns, the temperature is 70 degrees with 99 percent humidity. It is rather hot and sticky, so dress appropriately, including non-slip footwear, as the pathways can be wet and slippery. Bring a camera and some cold water with you. If you can, stay near your guide so you can hear the explanations of the geology and ecology of the caverns.


Just like the caves, the Natural Bridge complex has continued to grow and add new attractions for the entire family. The Canopy Challenge and Zip Line is a world-class playground for all ages. It is a 60-foot tall, four-tiered adventure course testing your ability on 47 obstacles with the goal of reaching the top, all the while safely tethered to a complex system of overhead beams. Once at the top, you can ride one of the four zip lines and “fly” through the beautiful Texas Hill Country. There is also a Canopy Kids Course for 3 to 6 year olds.

The Amazing Maze

         The AMAZEn' Ranch Roundup is a unique family–friendly maze experience built to honor five generations of ranch ownership history in the Natural Bridge Caverns family. Experience a sense of discovery finding your way through the maze, and time yourself to see how well you did. Parents or other spectators can watch from a platform above and shout out directions to those below.

         If you have ever dreamed of panning for gold, this is the place for you. The Mining Sluice, located around the Discovery Village Trading Post, is a series of troughs with water running through them. Inside the store, you can purchase bags of “mining rough.” Pour it into the screen tray, lower the tray into the running water; and while you gently sift and shake the tray, the water washes away the dirt and slowly reveals your treasure.  You can choose from gem and mineral bags, fossil bags, or arrowhead bags.

Sluice for panning for treasures

And, don’t miss stopping by Big Daddy’s Sweets and Treats for a great cup of coffee, fresh squeezed lemonade, old-fashioned soda, fudge, jerky, rock candy, Jelly Belly jelly beans, and souvenir items.

       Natural Bridge Caverns is truly a family affair where everyone can enjoy their own particular adventure and learn something while having fun.

Entrance to Original Cave

Find Out More

Natural Bridge Caverns is open year round. 9am - 4pm, with extended hours for spring and summer. The attraction is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. For a $2 off coupon, visit:

Located at 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road, Natural Bridge Caverns, Texas 78266

Call: 210 651-6101

For pricing visit:



 A Long Time Ago when the planet was young and bold this natural phenomenon was born. And now we enjoy it and allow ourselves to be awed.


   © Harry Perez 2012