The all-riding cave tours at Fantastic Caverns are available again. Large amounts of rainfall briefly suspended the tours, but waters have receded and visitors can again cruise around with us underground.
Water is largely responsible for shaping the limestone landscape of the Ozarks, creating sinkholes, ridges, fissures and other landforms all around us. Sinkholes, such as those near the Springfield Branson National Airport about 5 miles from Fantastic Caverns, capture rain and direct water into the cave system. Once water enters Fantastic Caverns, it takes some time to empty out, similar to a funnel. Indian Spring, a wet weather spring allows water to escape the caverns' lower levels at over 9,000 gallons a minute, but that capacity isn't always enough to drain the cave quickly when experiencing very heavy rainfall in the area. With a drainage area of about 15 square miles, rain that falls miles away ends up in Fantastic Caverns and eventually into the Little Sac River by way of the spring. It is important to remember, how we interact with our environment on the surface can directly impact the water we drink and the waterways we enjoy.