Inspired by recent expeditions, St. Mary’s Adventure Tour will take guests on a real caving adventure.
San Antonio (Friday, July 15, 2022) - St. Mary’s Adventure Tour, the newest adventure tour at Natural Bridge Caverns, is a unique caving expedition through a beautiful wild cave area of the Discovery Cavern. Sections of these passages, never seen by guests, include rare formations including black calcite and beautiful box work. Guests will learn and use some professional rope techniques used by cavers when traversing, ascending, and descending within the cave, necessary skills for this exciting new adventure tour experience. Knowledgeable guides provide the training and no prior caving experience is needed. [Broll, maps, and photos]
“This wild area in our cavern has always been one of our favorites,” said Brad Wuest, president of Natural Bridge Caverns. “The challenge has been that experiencing it also requires some specialized equipment and training. Now, thanks to the work of our Expedition Team we have the equipment and rigging in place to make the experience accessible to guests who are ready for adventure.”
With the addition of this new off trail tour, Natural Bridge Caverns will now have two Adventure Tours available, both of which are great for people with no previous training or experience in caving. The new St. Mary’s Adventure Tour is a more technical tour with no crawling, more climbing, and takes 2.5-3 hours. The Discovery Adventure Tour is a more physically demanding, involves muddy and tight crawlways and takes 3.5-4 hours. Prior to both adventure tours, specially trained Adventure Tour Guides (ATs) ensure guests are properly outfitted with everything from gloves to helmets and headlamps – guests bring their own clothing and footwear. ATs take each guest through a detailed training on how to navigate the unique environment of the wild area of the cave.
An all-day adventure is also available as a premium combo experience: guests can take St. Mary’s Adventure Tour in the morning and, after a lunch break, a Discovery Adventure Tour in the afternoon.
There is evidence that this area of the cave was explored by cavers as far back as the 1950s. This area is filled with formations that cannot be seen on other tours at Natural Bridge Caverns. Several areas of flowstone and delicate crystals along with stalagmites and stalactites decorate this area. Beautiful lace-like calcite formations exposed by ancient waterflows at the end of the passage is known as “box work” and has been long considered the finest example of this type of formation in the state according to famous caver James Reddell.
“Experiencing these passages just expands your appreciation for the astonishing wonder of the natural world,” said Travis Wuest, vice president of Natural Bridge Caverns and fellow expedition team member. “Our hope is these experiences will inspire our guests to learn about and then advocate for protection and responsible stewardship of these delicate environments.”
For more information about adventure caving tours, walkable public tours, and above-ground adventures at Natural Bridge Caverns, visit NaturalBridgeCaverns.com.
About Natural Bridge Caverns:
26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, Natural Bridge Caverns, TX 78266
https://naturalbridgecaverns.com/ l 210-651-6101
Natural Bridge Caverns is one of the world’s premier show caverns. Discovered in 1960 by local cavers, this family owned and operated natural wonder is the largest cavern in Texas. In addition to multiple tour experiences through two distinct caverns, the property features above-ground adventures of a different kind including a ropes course, zip rails, a 5,000 square foot outdoor maze, and even an interactive “gem panning” activity. More of the cavern system itself is still being discovered; the Wuest family along with their caving team are still actively exploring new areas in the massive cavern. Natural Bridge Caverns is a designated State Historical Site, National Natural Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.