Click on Map below for a larger image
- Website: http://www.wonderworldpark.com/
- Location: San Marcos, Hays County
- Length: 395 m (1,296 ft.)
- Depth: 28 m (91 ft.)
- Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Length of Tour: 1:45
- Admission: Please call for current rates.
- Phone: (800) 782-7653 ext. CAVE
- Other Amenities: Wonder World fun park. Aquarena (San Marcos) Springs is only a few miles away.
- Author: William R. Elliott
Take IH 35 to San Marcos and watch for the Wonder World signs on the south side of town.
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.
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