Ozarks Cave Explorers Club

Ozarks Cave Explorer's Club

Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, by Hubert Heck

Travel and tourism are inextricably part of the fabric of the Ozarks’ culture and economy. And caves have been a part of the tourism industry in the Ozarks for a very long time. Find a list of caves in Missouri and Arkansas participating in the Missouri Caves Association’s Ozarks Cave Explorer Passport Program.

Beneath the landscape of the Ozarks, there are thousands of caves. Each year, more caves are discovered in the region. Of the thousands of the caves that exist in the Ozarks, around 24 caves are open to the public for visitation. In 2019, it’s estimated that nearly one million people visited these caves. These natural attractions, called showcaves, tourist caves or commercial caves, allow people an opportunity to discover a world that lies underfoot and out-of-sight. When you visit at least three caves in Missouri or Arkansas, you’re eligible to receive an Ozarks Cave Explorer's Badge.

Are you interested in exploring the caves of the Ozarks?

Earn an Ozarks Cave Explorers Badge by visiting at least three caves listed on the Missouri Caves Association’s Explorer’s Club Passport.

  • Print out the Explorer’s Club Passport (printable passport pdf)
  • Have the passport stamped or initialed when you visit a cave in Missouri or Arkansas (visit at least three).
  • Mail the completed passport to:
    • Judy Turilli
      Missouri Caves Association
      PO Box 948
      Stanton, MO 63079
MCA Cave Explorers Club passport checklist

Every cave has something different to offer!

Caves, and the karst terrain in which they are found, are rich in resources and act as sanctuaries for unique species. Cave tours provide information about the history and geology of the area and inspire conservation. There are benefits to spending time in a cave. It can be quality time with family and friends, creating memorable outings while at home or traveling, or sparking interests in science and the environment. Connecting with nature can boost mental and physical well-being, improve concentration, increase energy and reduce stress.

Caves in Missouri:

Caves in Arkansas:

visitor resources produced by Fantastic Caverns

Fantastic Caverns has a long history of providing free visitor resources, such as maps, key holders, brochures, and both printed and digital directories to ensure visitors can easily navigate all the Ozarks has to offer. And Now, Fantastic Caverns is participating in the Missouri Caves Association’s Ozarks Cave Explorer Passport Program.

Latest Blog Posts

The latest about our Missouri cave, and other Fantastic Caverns news.

Discovered by a Dog
Fantastic Caverns is pet friendly. Fantastic Caverns was discovered by an Ozarks farmer, or more precisely, by his dog. While tracking an animal, the famer's bloodhound disappeared into a small hole at the base of a bluff.
Build Your Own Terrarium and Monitor Water Quality
Stormwater run-off can easily pick up pollutants and cause erosion. Plants and trees help filter stormwater run-off and prevent erosion. The water flowing through the lower levels of Fantastic Caverns, began as stormwater on the surface. Create your own terrariums and monitor water quality.
Create Your Own Cave Confections
Create your own cave treats following these simple recipes. Caves provide habitats for unique species. Make your own edible cave habitats in the form of hollow meringue cookies or dessert rolls.
Cave and Karst Picture Finds
Find cave animals in these photos. The karst terrain of the Ozarks provides habitat for unique life. There is a very delicate ecosystem beneath our feet.
Create Your Own Aquifer in a Cup
Create your own miniature aquifer in a cup. The limestone present in the Ozarks has cracks and voids that allow water to permeate and pass through it. Water flowing through the limestone passages of Fantastic Caverns, began as rainwater.
Create Your Own Crystals
You can easily grow your own crystals using sugar, salt or alum. Many crystals are minerals, and occur naturally. Minerals are the building blocks of rocks, like the limestone of Fantastic Caverns.
Cave and Karst Word Searches
Find words related to caves and cave life in these fun Cave and Karst Word Searches. Missouri is known as the Cave State, boasting more than 7,500 caves and counting.
Make Your Own Limestone Fossil Sugar Cookies
You can find fossilized remains of ancient creatures within the limestone of Fantastic Caverns. Create your own limestone-inspired fossils in the form of sugar cookies.
Create Your Own Cave in a Cup
Create your own cave. As water flows beneath the Earth's surface it dissolves and erodes the rock, forming the cavities that become caves.
Health and Safety at Fantastic Caverns
The health and safety of our guests are top of mind as we continue to offer our memorable ride through cave experiences. We have increased the frequency of our everyday health and safety protocols and procedures, and we are taking precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy.
The underground fleet
Climb aboard the underground fleet at Fantastic Caverns and explore the world beneath your feet. Touring Fantastic Caverns by Jeep drawn trams helps preserve the cave. America's Ride Thru Cave may not be inhabited by humans but the cave system does have a thriving ecology of small critters that call it home.
America's ride thru cave
Missouri caves are well known as the most beautiful caves to see in North America and Fantastic Caverns ranks #1 by many. It's America's favorite ride-through cave attraction and uses their signature red Jeeps to drive you around through the cave.
Phone: 417-833-2010
Fax: (417) 833-2042
Fantastic Caverns
4872 N Farm Rd 125
Springfield, MO 65803
Trip Adviser certificate of excellence for Fantastic Caverns