In the late 1800’s, a group of hunters stumbled upon a large hole in the ground while chasing rabbits. Unsure of what to do about their find, they left it alone. It wasn’t until years later that Truman Powell, a local cave expert, became curious and explored what the hunters found. To his great delight, it appeared to be the opening to a cave. With the help of a few friends, Powell was lowered by rope through the cave opening (like Tom Cruise entered the vault in Mission Impossible, I’m sure) with nothing but the glow of a single candle. He knew he had found something incredible and wanted to share his new discovery with anyone willing to come see it, so eventually he upgraded his candles to lanterns, and constructed wooden ladders to provide guided tours of the cave.
This particular cavern was special to Powell because the rocks “spoke” to him in a way that no other cave had… hence the reason for the name “Talking Rocks Cavern.” Although this was not the original name of the cave, the current name was given by the Herschend family, the current owners, in honor of Powell’s love for caving and his legacy.
Today, you and your family can explore Talking Rocks Cavern just like Truman Powell… except for the candle light and the creaky wooden ladders of course. The natural beauty of the cave (including “cave bacon”) mixed with modern sound and lighting technology will leave you amazed at the creation before you. After a brief history lesson of the cave given by the tour guide, guests enter the original cave opening, down a set of stairs to the cave floor. The guide stops every few minutes to explain significant features of the cavern and how it was discovered and developed. And while there are no bats living in the cave, there is a family of cave salamanders that call Talking Rocks their home, and if you’re lucky you just might see them! Each tour runs approximately one hour from beginning to end.
Talking Rocks Cavern also has two great hiking trails on-site with a scenic observation deck and a mini golf course, making it a great way to spend the day. At Talking Rocks Cavern, you and your family can see the natural beauty of Branson, Missouri inside and out. The cavern is located fifteen minutes west of Branson just off Highway 13. For more information, visit our website http://explorebranson.com/attractions/listing/1142/talking-rocks-cavern.
General Cave tips:
- Caves are wet. Although steps are not slippery, always wear shoes with good traction and support because any stairs or sidewalks may have water on them.
- Do not touch! Caves are always growing and changing and the oils on our hands can stop the growth of any cave. Only touch formations inside of a cave where permitted by a guide.
- Every cave is different… so take your camera! And take lots of pictures!