Things to Do

Exploring Caves in Southwest Missouri

Whether you're looking for ways to cool off in the summer or want to take in some of the underground sights of southwest Missouri, we've got a list of the most impressive caves worth visiting.

by Sony Hocklander

Aug 2023

Smallin Civil War Cave
Photo by Brandon AlmsCool off in some of the most spectacular caves in southwest Missouri. Purchase Photo

When it’s too hot to go outdoors, go underground instead! Missouri is home to more than 7,300 documented caves, with several in southwest Missouri that are open to public tours. In fact, half a dozen awe-inspiring caverns are less than an hour from Springfield. Take a look below and find the cave-exploring experience you're looking for.

Cave Critters

Illustrations by Grace Chipley

See if you can spot some of the wildlife below when you're exploring the caves in this feature.

Looking for Fellow Cavers in the Ozarks?


Springfield Plateau Grotto meets at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center auditorium. The public is welcome to attend. To find out more about SPG, visit their Facebook page.