Arkansas Must See: Blanchard Springs Wild Cave Tour

"Blanchard Springs Fifty Six,Arkansas" by Shutterdog 123 ( Debra Williams)Arkansas has once in a lifetime adventures to offer, and the Wild Cave Tour at Blanchard Springs is one of them. This tour has been included on all kinds of “must see” lists for adventurers. With the current problem of White-Nose Syndrome invading bat colonies across the country, Blanchard Springs is also one of the few caves in Arkansas that’s safe to explore under the guidance of the U.S. Forestry Service.

The Wild Cave Tour is roughly four hours long and takes explorers deep into the underbelly of Blanchard Springs Cave. You’ll crawl through tight spaces, get really dirty, and love every second of it if you’re up for the task. It’s not an experience for the faint of heart or unfit, though!

The U.S. Forestry Service is still running these tours using strict sanitation procedures to keep Blanchard Springs’ bat population safe. When you go on the tour, you’ll need to dress in light clothing and bring along a pair of sturdy, ankle-high boots like hiking boots. Personal caving equipment isn’t allowed to keep transferring contaminants away from the Blanchard Springs bat population. Every tour participant is provided with a pair of coveralls and knee pads as well as a helmet and light to keep them and the bats safe.

The tour goes down sloping 80 foot slides with no hand or foot holds, across narrow ledges that border 100-foot drops, and through tiny crawl spaces that require lots of wiggling to get through. If you’ve ever wondered what claustrophobia feels like, you might learn on this tour.

If you’re thinking about doing the Wild Cave Tour, buy a great pair of sturdy boots (we can help you choose some) and bring a second pair of shoes with you to change into them. We encourage you to wear in your new boots by doing a lot of hikes in them first to wear them in well!

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