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hotels near natural bridge caverns

30 April 2022

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History of Natural Bridge Caverns

Natural Bridge Caverns is a popular destination for tourists, and there's a reason for its popularity. The caves are beautiful, and the hike is stunning! But the real draw is the history of the place. The story of Natural Bridge Caverns begins in 1960, when four college students from San Antonio found some small openings in a natural limestone bridge. They decided to investigate by shining lights through the openings and exploring inside. After their discovery of these mysterious caves, they returned to explore them further. It was then that they discovered that the caverns contained enormous stalactites and stalagmites!

The discovery of this cave system was just the beginning. These four friends decided to start a business together! They called their new company "Natural Bridge Caverns", named after the natural limestone bridge above ground that acted as an entrance to the cave system below. Their first tour was given two years later in 1962, but it wasn't until 1974 that they were able to build an elevator shaft down into one of the caverns so visitors could experience everything without having to climb down ladders or squeeze through tight spaces like they had before."

Natural Bridge Caverns is a cave system in the Texas Hill Country. It is the largest known commercial cavern in the U.S. state of Texas according to the National Caves Association. The name is derived from the 60 ft natural limestone slab bridge that spans the amphitheater setting of the cavern's entrance. In 1971, it was dedicated as a National Natural Landmark.

The caverns were accidentally discovered on March 27, 1960 by four college students and their instructor from St. Mary's University in San Antonio who were spelunking in the area looking for an unexplored cave opening. After several hours of exploring, they came across and descended into an upper cavern, later named "Discovery Passageway". Their discovery was kept secret for several months while they explored and mapped out this new cave system.

On June 8, 1960 Michael Scott, George Veni, Bob Jasek, Al Brandt and Lee Silva obtained legal permission to explore and map out the caverns, which were then opened to the public on September 16 of that same year by Scott and his brother-in-law Ray Vester.

How to get to Natural Bridge Caverns

Natural Bridge Caverns is located in the Texas Hill Country, just north of San Antonio.

The easiest way to get there is by driving-if you're leaving San Antonio, you'll want to head north on I-35. If you're coming from the north, you'll want to go south on I-35. When you get close to Natural Bridge Caverns, take exit 175 and head west. That will lead straight to Natural Bridge Caverns Road. Follow that road for about a mile until you see the entrance on your left.

If you're not coming from San Antonio or don't want to take the interstate, you can also get there from FM 3009. Take that road north past Canyon Lake until it hits Natural Bridge Caverns Road (you'll see a sign pointing up that hill). Make a right onto Natural Bridge Caverns Road and follow it less than a mile until you see the entrance on your right side. The drive takes about 45 minutes from downtown San Antonio or an hour if you're coming from New Braunfels or Austin.

Rules in Natural Bridge Caverns

In Natural Bridge Caverns, there are several rules that you should be aware of.

-You must be at least 3' 4" tall to participate in the tour.

-You will be walking, crouching, and climbing for over an hour on uneven rock surfaces so sturdy shoes are required.

-Due to the constant temperature inside the caverns, appropriate clothing is recommended (no shorts or short skirts).

-The trails inside the caverns are slippery and visitors should watch their step.

-Please stay with your group.

-Please do not touch any living organisms in the caverns.