Wonder Cave


Click on Map below for a larger image

  • Location: San Marcos, Hays County
  • Length: 395 m (1,296 ft.)
  • Depth: 28 m (91 ft.)
  • Contact: Website for tour details and hours
  • Other Information: Facebook Page

Directions:

Take IH 35 to San Marcos and watch for the Wonder World signs on the south side of town.

Description:

Wonder Cave is unusual in that it is formed along a fault in the Balcones Fault Zone. The cave is historic but has relatively few speleothems.

The smallest and oldest, continuously operating of the seven show caves in Texas, Wonder Cave was originally called Bevers Cave after Mark Bevers, who discovered it in 1896. A.B. Rogers bought it and opened it to the public some time prior to 1915. It is now part of the Wonder World theme park.

The cave is an almost straight crack in the Edwards Limestone but the walls have been modified by water and parts of the fissure are filled with breakdown. Small speleothems are found in some areas. Beaver's Well is about 28 m (93 ft.) deep from the surface to the water. Troglobites such as Typhlomolge rathbuni (Texas blind salamander), Palaemonetes antrorum (blind shrimp), and Cirolanides texensis (blind isopod) were found in the cave's water at one time but have not been seen recently. These species are also found in nearby Ezell's Cave and in the San Marcos Pool of the Edward's Aquifer.

The 1970 survey covered most of the cave's three levels. There probably is some additional, unsurveyed upper level passage between the ventilation shaft and the big dome in the Main Hall. There are rumors of a lower level stream and an extensive upper level. The Crystal Palace is nicely decorated but is no longer on the tour. At the end of the tour an elevator takes visitors to the surface. If you have bought a combination ticket, you continue to rise another 30 m to the top the Texas Observation Tower where you can get a fine view of the Texas Hill Country from a glassed-in platform.

Bibliography:

Craun, V. S. 1948. Commercial caves of Texas. Bull. Natl. Speleol. Soc., 10:33-45.

Elliott, W. R. 1970. The Wonder Cave survey. Texas Caver, 15:192-193.

Gurnee, R., and J. Gurnee. 1990. Gurnee Guide to American Caves. R.H. Gurnee, Inc., Closter, New Jersey. 288 pp.


All data on this page and on the linked Show Caves is revised from:
William R. Elliott and George Veni (eds.). 1994.
The Caves and Karst of Texas: 1994 Convention Guidebook.
Natl. Speleol. Soc., Huntsville, Alabama.
352 pp. + viii + 13 maps. All rights reserved.
Original page author: William R. Elliott