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Marvel Cave, Branson

#4 of 101 in Nature in Missouri
Cave · Nature / Park
Marvel Cave is a National Natural Landmark located just west of Branson, Missouri, on top of Roark Mountain in Stone County. The cave was known by the Osage Indians in the early 16th century, after a tribe member fell through the cave's main entrance, a sinkhole. There is evidence that in 1541 the Spanish explored the cave, but the first recorded expedition was in 1869, led by Henry T. Blow. The unofficial Stone County chapter of Bald Knobbers, a local group of vigilantes, were rumored to have taken people to the top of Roark Mountain, and thrown them in the sink hole.

Marvel Cave was originally called Marble Cave, after explorers in 1882 saw what they thought was marble on the cave's ceiling. This started the Marble Cave Mining Company, although later it was realized that there was never any marble in the cave. The Marble Cave Mining Company ceased all operations after only four and a half years. William Lynch purchased the cave in 1889, and soon after opened the cave to the public. In 1950, Hugo Herschend leased the cave for 99 years. The Herschends made renovations to the cave, and later opened a theme park, Silver Dollar City, on the surface above the cave. Marvel Cave is known for being one of the largest caves in Missouri, having one of the largest cave entry rooms (the Cathedral Room) of any cave in North America, and for being one of the longest running tourist attractions in the Ozarks.

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Marvel Cave reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
731 reviews
  • long walk in but oh my is it worth it. Been going here for 40 yrs and it never gets old. Amazing to see what nature can do and the cog train out is an adventure of its own.  more »
  • we go to silver dollar city very summer we love it. food is great and there are new things to do every year. never gets old  more »
  • You have to pay to enter Silver Dollar City and then the cave tour will be free from there. Totally worth it! I have been in caves all over the US and Mexico and while this is certainly a shorter tour, I know you won't regret going. It's super fun with some great touches that I was not expecting. Definitely well worth the hour. There is quite a bit of descending to get to the bottom but the good part is there is a cable train (in photo) that was built in the 1950's that will take you back to the top. There is limited space so make sure you get there early to reserve your spot in the tour.
  • Best way to spend an hour!! This cave is soooo awesome and our guide was super nice and funny. (Her name is Vivian... I think). The cave was super cool and really deep. It got really dark when she shut off the lights and blew out the candles. The tour was really informative and fun!! 10/10 would recommend.

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