The Caverns of Sonora is located on Interstate 10, about half-way between Big Bend National Park and San Antonio, Texas. It is a privately owned cavern that provides tours to the public, has a gift shop and a campground with electric & water. I’ve visited a number of caverns around the US and this is the most beautiful I’ve seen. While some are larger, I haven’t seen any other that offers as many different formations or as intimate a tour.
I don’t know if it was the normal size group, but we only had 3 people plus the guide for our tour. This is an active cave, that is one that most of the formations are still growing. Much more “alive” with beautiful colors than caves such as Mammoth or Carlsbad.
Don’t plan on a visit to cool off – while the inside temperature was 20° below the outside temperature, at 71° with a 98% humidity, it didn’t feel any cooler. At the time I did the tour it cost $20.00 (same price for a campsite) and lasted about 1 1/2 hours. While you do not need to “crawl” to get through the cavern, there are stairs and narrow sections; it isn’t Handicap Accessible.
One of the great things about the tour is how close you are to the formations and the knowledge of our guide. He took us through many nooks & crannies, each revealing new & different formations, always taking the time to explain how each was formed.
While the light levels are adequate for viewing, photographers will need a camera capable of shooting at high ISO’s – flash destroys the lighting they have added to the cave, and tripods, bags of any kind, even fanny packs, are not allowed in the cave.
I’ve included a few photographs here – I have two pages of images from the cave at my LakeshoreImages website. An afternoon or overnight at the caverns is definitely worth your time if you are visiting Texas!