Blanchard Springs Caverns Closing for the Winter Season

Blanchard Springs Caverns Closing for the Winter Season

Ozark Outdoor Supply

Ozark-St. Francis National Forests’ officials are implementing the annual seasonal closure plan for Blanchard Springs Caverns.

Today is the last day that tours are offered for the 2023 recreation season. The upper loop campground within the recreation area will also be closing for the season, but Blanchard Day-Use Area, pavilions, and group campsites will remain open.

The seasonal closure plan balances financial and staffing considerations, along with visitor and staff safety. Most visitor use takes place from March through October, with peak season occurring in the summer months. Visitation historically drops beginning in late fall and steadily declines into the winter months. The seasonal closure will provide an opportunity for staff to focus on addressing ongoing maintenance needs, supporting district management objectives, and maintaining other recreation areas including Blanchard Springs Campground and the adjacent day-use area.

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The 2024 season is expected to commence on March 1, 2024. Reservations will be made available prior to the reopening date and will be announced in advance. The Blanchard Springs Caverns Visitor Information Center is located between Mountain View and Fifty-Six, Arkansas.

The annual Caroling in the Caverns event will return this year but will no longer be held in the Cathedral Room of the caverns. Instead, the event will be held in the above-ground auditorium next to the visitor’s center. This was a compromise with the Osage Nation who consider the caverns sacred. More information on Caroling in the Caverns is available in an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article.

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