The Ozark region is known for its caves (and sinkholes, tunnels and springs), which are common in the highly porous limestone and dolomite rock that underlies the area.
If you have a yen for spelunking, here are some of the best show caves the region has to offer.
More detailed information about each cave can be found on the regional search pages.
SW Missouri Caves
Smallin/Civil War Cave Said to have the largest opening of all known Missouri Caves. Guided tour and off-trail adventure. 3575 N Smallin Rd, Ozark. 417-551-4545.
Fantastic Caverns America's only ride-through cave. 4872 N. Farm Rd 125, Springfield. 417-833-2010
Crystal Cave Family-owned, with dirt and stone paths. 7225 E. Crystal Cave Ln., Springfield. 417-833-7225
Marvel Cave At Silver Dollar City; cave tour is included in the admission fee. Branson. 417-544-1944
Talking Rocks Cavern Beautiful cave, enhanced by dramatic lighting. 423 Fairy Cave Ln., Branson West. 417-272-3366.
NW Arkansas Caves
Cosmic Cavern Two bottomless lakes and stunning formations. Steep cement step entry, then easy paths. 6386 Hwy 21 North, Berryville. 870-749-2298
Onyx Cave Park Self-guided tour with headphones. Easy entrance, easy trails. 338 Onyx Cave Lane, off U.S. 62 East,, Eureka Springs. 479-253-9321
War Eagle Cavern Easy, well-lit 60-minute guided walking tour. Outside activities also. 21494 Cavern Dr, Rogers. 479-789-2909
North Central Arkansas Caves
Mystic Caverns and Crystal Dome Cavern Located in a region of Arkansas that was settled around 1830, and probably known by early settlers and native Americans. AR Scenic Hwy 7, 8 miles south of Harrison. 888-743-1739.
Blanchard Springs Caverns Operated by the US Forest Service. Guided tours. Some lighted, paved trails with handrails, some wild. 15 NW of Mountain View, off Hwy 14. www.recreation.gov for tour times and reservations.
Hurricane River Cave Year-round springs at the cave entrance. Fossil crinoids in the rocks, free for the taking. Regular guided tours plus extreme caving tours. 588 Impulse Dr, Pindal. 870-429-6200.
Bull Shoals Caverns Tour approx. 45 minutes long:underground river, camel crickets, bats, salamanders. In Bull Shoals. 870-445-7177.
Lake of the Ozark Region Caves
Bridal Cave Discovered by the Osage Indians, locally known for several centuries. Stunning formations. North of Camdenton. 573-346-2676
Jacob's Cave A "walk-through" cave, the largest in the lake area. Completely accessible to persons with disabilities. Rd. TT, Gravois Mills. 573-378-4374
Fantasy World Caverns Used by Native Americans, moonshiners and critters: ancient bear beds still visible along the pathway. Cave Dr, east of Bagnell Dam. Tours by appointment; call for times. 573-369-3306
Ozark Caverns State-owned cave in Lake of the Ozarks State Park. "Walk through" and ADA accessible. Gorgeous formations. Visitor's center above ground offers insights into caves of Missouri. Open April 16-Oct. 14. 573-346-2500.