Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost to tour the cave?
Admission to the cavern tour is $21.00 per adult, $11.00 for children 5-11, children 4 and under are free. Tour Details
Are group rates available?
Group rates are available for groups of 15 or more. Discounted rates are as follows $16.00 per Adult, $11.00 9th-12th grade, $8.50 7th-8th grade, $8.00 K-6th (5-11 years old). One complimentary pass will be given for every 20 tickets purchased.
Do you need reservations?
Reservations are only needed for groups of 15 or more.
How long does the tour take?
The tour takes one hour and twenty minutes to complete. It is a walking tour covering 1 1/4 mile round-trip. Abbreviated tours (45 minutes in length) are available for groups upon request.
Are there long waits for tours?
No. Tours depart every 20-30 minutes throughout the day.
Are you handicapped accessbile?
No, unfortunately not at this time due to the natural terrain in the cave of ramp ways and narrow walkways. There is also one flight of steps. We have ample waiting areas for those who cannot make the trip.
Are strollers allowed?
No strollers are not allowed on tour. Due to the grooves in the concrete walkway (which allow moisture and water to drain from the walkways) the small size of the stoller wheels tend to cause excessive vibration to the stroller and the child. Backbacks or Child carriers are suggested. Use caution when carrying child or infant for the ceiling is low in some areas.
What is the temperature inside the cave?
The temperature of the cave is a constant 58 degrees.
What should I wear?
Since the cave is at a constant 58 degrees a light jacket is recommended along with comfortable, non-slip walking shoes. Our Gift Shop has a large selection of warm, comfortable, and affordable sweat shirts and jackets for purchase.
Is the cave safe for kids?
Yes, the cave is safe for young children. Being a commercial or show cave Meramec Caverns undergoes strict inspections to ensure the safety of it's visitors. Children should be supervised by a responsible parent or adult at all times making sure children stay on the designated walkways at all times.
Are there bathrooms inside the cave?
There are no bathrooms inside the cave. It is recommended that restrooms be used prior to cavern tour.
I'm claustrophobic, are there any tight spaces in the cave?
There are no tight spaces on the tour. We can accommodate groups of 100 at a time. The smallest room inside the cave is comparable to the size of an average bedroom. If a problem arises tour guides will assist in escorting the individual from the cavern tour.
My child is afraid of the dark. Are there any places on tour where there is total darkness?
On occasion the tour guide may show vistors what it is like in total darkness. Please inform your tour guide of any issues with darkness and they will accomodate you.
Are there bats in the cave?
Yes, there are bats inside the cave mainly small Eastern Pipistrelle and Brown Bats . The sighting of these nocturnal creatures are minimal due to the greatness of the cave system. Despite common misconceptions, they pose no danger or threat to humans.
How do you know that Jesse James used the cave as a hideout?
Proof of Jesse James usage of the caverns as a hideout is found through collaborative factual evidence. This evidence consisits of sheriffs reports, eye witness accounts, and physical material found inside the cave. Among the artifacts found inside the cave (at Loot Rock) were strong boxes traceable to the train robbery at Gadshill, MO, rifles, and shackles. Additional information can be obtained by visiting the Jesse James Wax Museum, Stanton MO. For hours of operation please call 573-468-3166.
Has gold been found in the cave?
Unfortunately, no gold has been found inside the cave.
What role did Meramec Caverns play in the underground Rail Road?
Although we don't have official documentation of the cave's usage by the Underground Rail Road due to the secrecy of the issue, it has been part of the local lore that the cave was the second to last stop along the Underground Rail Road before one's exit to freedom. This coincides with the caves usage as a Civil War gunpowder manufacturing plant.
How much does it cost to camp?
Primitive sites (no hookups) are $18.00 per tent. Sites with electric hookups are $25.00 per tent or RV. Site prices are based on 2 adults and 2 children. Additional adults and children on one site are charged $2, and $1, respectively. Lodging & Camping Options
When are the campgrounds open?
The campgrounds are open from April-October.
Can I reserve a campsite? What about on holidays?
With 200 campsites, reservations are neither taken nor needed.
Do you have sites with full hookup?
No, full service sites are not available. There are 60 sites available with electric and water hookup.
Is there a dump station available?
Yes, a dump station is offered and is located at the campground entrance.
Are group rates available for camping?
Yes, if you have 10 or more tents per site $1 off will be issued per tent. Special Scout rates are available for current scouting groups camping together; $18 base fee plus $1 per scout and $2 per adult.
Do you have a map of the campground?
Currently there is no campground map available for viewing.
Do you have cabins?
No, we do not have cabins.
Are dogs allowed?
Yes, dogs are allowed if kept on a leash and are quiet at night.
Do you offer wedding packages or receptions inside the cave?
We no longer offer this service. We recommend contacting Bridal Cave in Camdenton, MO for wedding services.
We would like to canoe. Are there float trips available?
Yes, canoe and raft rentals are available April-October. River Activities
What is the condition of the river?
The Meramec River is a fairly calm river. It does have undertows, which can be dangerous. We recommend the usage of certified life preservers for persons of all ages.
Can we swim in the river?
No, we do not recommend swimming due to possible dangerous undertows. Float trips are available.
Is there any place to eat?
Yes, Meramec Caverns' restaurant offers an extensive menu with daily summer specials, in-house catering, a snack bar, 28 flavors of ice cream and is open daily during cave hours. (Dec-Mar - Very Limited Menu)
When is the Gospel Sing?
The 50th Annual Gospel Sing is October 18-21, 2017. To purchase tickets and for more information please contact the Lesters at 417-236-9090 or by visiting their website at www.thelesters.com
Are there any special events planned for visitors?
Click here to see our 2017 Events List
Do you have kennel services for family pets? If so, how does it work?
Yes, for your animal's health and protection free kennels are available to house your pet while you tour the caverns. For a $6 refundable fee you may rent a lock and key (available at the Information counter) to safely secure your pet in a 4x6 shaded, concrete floor kennel. Please bring food, a water pan, and any additional items such as a favorite toy to make your animal feel at home in their temporary set up. After retrieving your animal, simply return your lock and key (back to the Information counter) and you will be refunded the $6.
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