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Longhorn Cavern State Park
Burnet, Texas



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Longhorn Cavern, a Registered Natural Landmark since 1971, is the focal point of 639-acre Longhorn Cavern State Park. Formed by tremendous underground water flows, the cave has attracted man and animal alike since prehistoric times. Around the turn of the century, an entrepreneur even built a dance hall deep in the belly of the cave!

When the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began work at Longhorn Cavern in the 1930s, many of the cavern's chambers were filled with dozens of feet of silt and debris. To protect the cavern and its ecosystem, the CCC blocked off the four natural entrances to the cave, leaving one (gated) entrance--it is through this entrance that visitors pass to begin their subterranean tour. Once home to over two million Mexican freetail bats, Longhorn Cavern now has a small population of solitary eastern pipistrelle bats.

Cave tours of Longhorn Cavern are offered daily beginning at 10 AM, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Tours last approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes and involve a fairly level and easy 1.25 mile round-trip walk. The cave remains a comfortable 64 degrees year-round; occasionally, periods of heavy rain force the park to temporarily close portions of the cave for visitors' safety.

Shaded picnic tables, a .5 mile Nature Trail, and a 1.5 mile Hiking Trail are available, as well as a snack bar and gift shop. The park's original administration building, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), is in remarkable condition and features educational exhibits.

Camping is not permitted at Longhorn Cavern State Park, but nearby Inks Lake State Park, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, and Pedernales Falls State Park do permit overnight stays.



Shannon's Notebook

Outside the entrance to the cavern
Entrance to the cavern
Copyright © Justin W. Moore
See more photos at OutdoorPhoto.com
1930's era CCC park administration building
Copyright © Justin W. Moore
See more photos at OutdoorPhoto.com
Justin and I usually visit Longhorn Caverns State Park in the springtime during our Hill Country wildflower photography excursion. We have taken the cave tour and were impressed with how knowledgeable our cave tour guide was. The tour leads visitors through rooms with names such as Little Holland, Hall of Marble and Lumbago Alley and intriguing natural formations such as Abraham Lincoln and the Eagle's Wing. Our favorite part of the tour, however, was our guide's brief demonstration of "cave darkness". After everyone in our group was assembled, she turned her lantern off and instructed us to put our hands in front of our faces. Several hundred feet under ground, with absolutely no light entering the chamber, you literally cannot see your hand in front of your face!

For more information, read our trip report:

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Location

Take U.S. Hwy. 281 north from San Antonio or south from Dallas to Park Road 4, 8 miles north of Marble Falls at Colorado River. Follow Park Road 4 six miles to the Park Headquarters.
Map of Park's Location

For GPS Users: N 30° 40.99'   W 098° 21.10' (WGS84/NAD83)
Convert to another coordinate sytem or map datum (Courtesy of Jeeep.com)

Hours

Open 7 days a week year-round from 8 AM to 10 PM for day use activities. The Visitor's Center opens at 9 AM daily, and the first cave tour departs between 10 & 11 AM daily.

Check for restricted park access before any trip. When controlled public hunts are in progress, general access is not permitted.

Fees

There is no park entrance fee. Rates for the Longhorn Cavern Tour are: $10.95 per adult; $9.95 per teen (ages 13-19), senior (age 60 or older), or Texas Conservation Passport (TCP) holder; $5.95 per child (ages 2-12 years.) The Wild Cave Tour, which is intended for teens and adults, is $35 per person. Listed fees may not be accurate year-round due to seasonal changes. Contact the park directly to confirm fees.

Note: Learn about the $60 Texas State Parks Pass which exempts passholders, and the passengers in their vehicle, from the entrance fees at all Texas State Parks.

Reservations

Reserve Now for campsites and other park facilities.

Reservations can also be made by calling TPWD's Central Reservation System at (512)389-8900 from 9 AM to 8 PM Monday through Friday, 9 AM to noon on Saturdays.

No information available.

Events

Consult TPWD's Park Events Calendar for information on upcoming events at this park.

Weather

Click for Burnet, Texas Forecast

Volunteer Opportunities

Inquire at the park headquarters.

Contact Information

The park is managed by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Longhorn Cavern State Park
P.O. Box 732
Burnet, Texas 78611

Visitor Center: 1-877-441-2283
TPWD Park Info: 1-800-792-1112

Related Links:
* Longhorn Cave Tours, Inc.


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