The Caverns of Sonora

The Caverns of Sonora are a quite attractive commercial cave located 8 miles west of Sonora Texas and about 150' underground. If you've never been that far underground before, this might be a good start. Smaller than the Carlsbad Caverns, there are not hordes of tourists always on your heels. And, the features are quite attractive, including the famous butterfly. and less-famous but interesting wonders like the Frozen Falls.

caverns of sonora

The owner's website is here. Aboveground there's a campground and other activities, but the most interesting sights are deep in the earth. When I visited it was just me and a few others in the group, and the leader was an experience spelunker (OK, they don't like being called that but...) I originally thought this was going to be just a tourist trap and the leader was a relative of the owners or something. Instead, this turned out to be a famous cave and the real deal.

Note however that this is hardly a wild experience: walking is along concrete paths with a few stairways, so there are no tight spots, and everything is lighted. There is some elevation gain involved, so it might be moderately strenuous for some. As far as I know there are no self-guided tours. However, for a wilder experience, join one of the restoration projects.

They're about 70 miles south of San Angelo and 150 miles east of Fort Stockton east of the junction of Interstate 10 and Highway 277. Also in the area, just about twenty miles up the road in Eldorado, is the compound of the so-called "marrying people". The caverns were declared a National Natural Landmark in 1965.

Visit date: November 19, 2003

Location

United States
30° 34' 12" N, 100° 38' 24" W
May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm