Inner Space Caverns is one of Texas's most impressive cave systems, and for those who like geology or simply unique attractions, it is not to be missed when spending some time in the Austin area. Created by the effects of water over time, these limestone caverns near Austin Texas are a sheer delight to explore, the 1.2 miles of caves are adorned with many spectacular natural formations.
According to experts, the Inner Space Caverns are around 100 million years old, and they remained open to the surface up until around 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. Upon discovery in 1963, they had since closed, trapping and effectively protecting everything inside. Texas Highway Department workers discovered the cave system by accident when building Interstate 35. Once archaeologists moved in, saber-toothed cat bones were found, as were mammoth bones. Stunning natural formations were also discovered. The Inner Space Caverns tours give tremendous insight into the history and formation of the cave system, and they can make great additions to Austin vacation itineraries when looking for fun and interesting things to do.
When visiting the Inner Space Caverns near Austin Texas, you can choose from a few different tour options. The standard Inner Space Caverns tours last about an hour and fifteen minutes, and they depart every half hour or so. Groups of 20 or more can make tour reservations if they please, but otherwise, it is first come first served. Special extended tours that last for an hour and a half can also be enjoyed. For those who want extensive and comprehensive Inner Space Caverns tours, four-hour tours that include spelunking are also available. The special one-and-a-half-hour tours are offered at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the weekends, and for those who wish to enjoy them on the weekdays, the tour times can vary. The longer four-hour tours are only offered on Saturdays by reservation.
Once Inner Space Caverns visitors enter the cave system through the main entrance, they are treated to a magical underground world where stalactites and stalagmites figure among the primary attractions. Sounds echo off the cavern walls, and in some of the open rooms, the sound of trickling water adds to the mysterious ambiance. At one point during the tours of these impressive caves near Austin, all lights are extinguished, allowing visitors to get a true idea of how dark it can get inside. You can't even see your hand in front of your face once the lights go out.
On hot summer days, the consistent 72-degree temperatures inside the Inner Space Caverns are very inviting, though visits aren't only rewarding in the summer months. The caverns are open to the public seven days a week, with Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day being the only days that they are closed. The hours of operation vary according to season, and 9 a.m. is the general opening time. In addition to checking out the caverns on Inner Space Caverns visits, it is also possible to pan for minerals and gems at the onsite mine or enjoy a relaxing picnic in the shaded picnic area. Shopping at the onsite gift shop is also an option.