Lake of the Ozarks Caves: Enjoy a Tour of These Incredible Missouri Caves
The Lake of the Ozarks State Park is a beautiful spot to explore near the condo. It features lovely hiking paths, a peaceful lake, and some of the best Missouri caves and cave tours around.
Consider adding a stop at one (or more) of the Lake of the Ozarks caves during your next trip to the area. These fantastic caverns are historically rich and create an unforgettable experience during your visit. As Missouri is known as the “cave state,” it’s worth exploring what this state has to offer!
I’ve gathered the below list of exciting caves to explore, with incredible views of stalactites, massive columns, and more.
The Best Caves in Lake of the Ozarks
Missouri is home to an impressive 6,300 “wild” caves, half in or around the Lake of the Ozarks area. The caves noted below are “show caves” (except for Stark Caverns) in the Lake of the Ozarks State Park. This “tamed” status means they have walkways, railings, bridges, and lights to help you travel through them more easily.
These pathways and alterations make each cave tour more family-friendly. The caves I recommend are only a short drive from Fancy Lake Vacation condos, allowing you to spend more time in the caves and less time on the road. All the caves listed below are within an hour’s drive, with most under thirty minutes away from the condo.
Bridal Cave, nearby Camdenton, is a 23-minute drive from the Fancy Lake Vacations. This cave features massive rooms created by water flowing through them for millions of years. Regardless of when you reach this cave, you won’t have to wait too long for a tour as tours leave every few minutes.
This cave has been noted as one of the most scenic caves in the area, offering views of incredibly clear water at Mystery Lake, impressive chambers, and interesting mineral deposits. Bridal Cave gained its name from a Native American wedding ceremony in the 1800s. You can still get married in the Bridal Chapel of the cave as a nod to the cave’s history.
Bridal Cave is reachable via boat or car. If you’re taking a boat, you’ll want to stop at the 10 ½ mile marker on the Big Niangua arm. There is no fee to enter the park, but you will have to pay for a cave tour. Children under four years old can tour for free.
Jacob’s Cave is a bit further but is worth the 44-minute drive. This cave near the Lake area is completely accessible via wheelchair and stroller, so it’s ideal for any visitor. It offers views of reflective pools, geological wonders like “soda straws,” and impressive stalactites. On this tour, you can see every cave formation imaginable, making it a truly special place to visit.
As you journey through the cave, keep your eye out for prehistoric bones and the largest geode in the world. Regardless of the time of year, the temperature inside is a pleasant 53°F. Pack a light jacket if you typically run on the colder side.
At the end of the cave, you’ll find a fun gift shop with local minerals and geodes for sale. Like the Bridal Cave, there’s a tour fee for Jacobs Cave. You can receive a discount on your tour ticket if you’re a teacher or bus driver.
Stark Caverns is another impressive option with the shortest drive (about 18 minutes away) from your accommodations.
On your tour, you’ll see ancient arrowheads, fossils, stalagmites, stalactites, and even a cave salamander (on occasion). Stark Caverns offers multiple tour options, from traditional to lantern and blacklight tours. There’s even a fun escape room within the cave that you can check out during a visit to the caverns for an additional fee.
It’s also worth stopping at the Visitor’s Center outside the caverns for a snack, souvenirs, jewelry options, and more. This option is only partially accessible for wheelchair users and strollers, so it may not be a great tour option for everyone.
The Ozark Caverns are only about 24 minutes away via drive. It’s a state-owned cave on Cave Dr. These caverns feature traditional tours and children’s tour options. Expect to see the Angel Showers when touring this cave. It’s a never-ending stream of water that magically appears from a rock. There are admission charges for every family member over the age of six.
These caverns have different hours than the other options, so it’s best to call ahead to double-check that they are open before making a trip to Ozark Caverns.
Fancy Lake Vacations offers you a luxury respite with two available condos in Osage Beach. Between hiking and cave explorations, you can enjoy views of the main channels of Lake of the Ozarks right from your balcony. Rent one of our condos for a relaxing stay in the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks area, only a few hours away from the majestic Ozark Mountains.