Experience the underworld with it’s captivating columns, cave drapery and stalagmite formations…we aren’t talking from a mere 6 feet under but from an incredible 180 feet under the surface. The Natural Bridge Caverns just outside of San Antonio, Texas hold spectacular awe with underground rivers and streams, water dripping on your face and millions of years of developed stalagmites and stalactites that will turn your world upside down.
Ever wondered what it would be like to be 180 feet below the surface of the earth and see beautiful cavern formations that have been created by millions and millions of years? How about exploring a rope challenge? Natural Bridges Caverns is your all-in-one stop for a day of exploration, excitement and adventure. Different tours can take you down to the magnificent underground caverns, you can fly through the sky on the zip-line, have a mountaineering experience with the adventure tours or mine for gems. There is something for everyone here!
We took our five, three and one-year-old. Lights, asphalt and hand-rails line the Discovery tour path. No need to bring your own headlamp but make sure you wear good hiking shoes. The temperature in the caverns is quite pleasant and stays 70 degrees Fahrenheit all year round. A bottle of water would have been nice but it’s only a 75-minute tour so the bit of sweat that you work up isn’t too bad for trekking back from 180 feet under.
The 3/4 mile trek through natural caverns was a comfortable paced walk/decent/accent. Our 18-month-old rode in a kid-carrier backpack that took a little bit of maneuvering and thinking skinny to get through a couple of tight spots but that all adds to the adventure. It was inspiring to turn a corner and find a new room full of cave columns and drapery.
You can look at pictures and videos all day but nothing can compare to the natural eye and the experience of personally viewing them for yourself. It is incredible to me that it has taken thousands even millions of years to form each structure in the cavern and is really an epic experience to see for yourself.
Your guide will stop throughout the tour and let you gape at the beauty and diversity of each cavern room (yes, there are multiple.)
We asked our guide how strong the columns and formations are and she said they were solid enough that if you were to run into one full-on with your body, you would bounce off. The formations do look like they are fragile but don’t touch because it is against the law to even touch the formations down in the cavern because the oils on our skin can damage the ecosystem and permanently change the color forever. On your tour, listen to how the bats have made their mark on the caverns.
Research and exploration continue on through the entry fees that you pay to get into the Natural Bridges Caverns.
If you are looking for a little more of an adventure there is plenty in the canopy challenge and zip line. To reach the zip-line you walk along the stairs for the canopy challenge and knowledgeable staff is there to help you all along the way.
The friendly staff helps size and get a harness on you before you clip in and ascend the stairs to the zip line. My heart started racing on the way up because the stairs are on the edge of the course and all you can see, if you look down, is trees and how far up you are on the stairs.
The top of the zip-line has breathtaking views! When it was my turn on the cables, I was checked to verify my harness was on correct, I walked to the edge of the platform, sat down in my harness and away I went. The first half of the zip is to a tower, then you zip back to the canopy course. The zip line was very relaxing. I felt like I was flying. Kids are welcome on the zip-line also as long as they are 60 lbs and are 48 inches or taller.
Canopy Challenge Rope course
The whole family can do the canopy challenge rope course! There is a larger course for those 48 inches or taller and at least 60 lbs and there is a smaller course for children 42 inches and smaller. Yes, they have harnesses even for a one-year-old!
The smaller, Canopy Kids, a course is so much fun for the littles in your group. There does need to be an adult for each child that is doing the course but if you have more kids than adults, the kids who are waiting are welcome to walk around with you while you are chaperoning those hooked into the course.
Our girls absolutely loved the course. Saylor, our one and a half-year-old, couldn’t wait to get hooked in and do what her older sisters were doing. Blakely and Tessa could have spent hours going through the course and seeing how many routes they could do without holding onto the safety.
There is a lot of satisfaction in accomplishing a course that is hard and trying new things. It builds confidence and character and to see the smile on the kids faces when they completed a route made my day!
The larger course is just as fun for the adults and older kids in your group as the canopy kids is fun for the smaller kids in the group. Try all three levels of this course to see how well you can deal with heights and walking on a cable or high bridge! Better yet, do all three levels over and over again and get better each time! Then after you are finished, go take a break and get some lunch, a snack or a slushie!
We had such a fun day at Natural Bridges Caverns and we didn’t even do every activity they had to offer! The kids were tired with what we experience today but they had a blast! We are totally going to come back, without the kids, or when the kids are older, to do the adventure tour! Find official details on their website.