About Indiana Caverns
Our Story, Unique Discoveries, and More
Indiana Caverns opened its doors to the public on June 15, 2013, after an immense cache of significant prehistoric remains were discovered. Just months after its opening, a four-person speleological survey team added 1,763 feet of a recently discovered section of the Binkley Cave system known as the Wild Wild West, putting Indiana Caverns in the top 10 of the longest caves in the United States, with much more to be mapped.
Today, Indiana Caverns is the longest cave in Indiana offering a full range of activities on its property including cave tours, deep darkness cave exploring, Bat Chaser zip coaster, the Plunge, Escape Rooms, Gemstone Mining, and more.
Gary Roberson, Developer of Indiana Caverns, Crawls into His First Cave
Gary Roberson crawled into his first cave on his first Boy Scout camping trip as a Tenderfoot scout in 1958. He became an active caver the day he received his driver’s license and began mapping in the Binkley cave system in 1967 while attending Vanderbilt University, where he graduated with a business major.
Surveying of Binkley Cave System Begins
Surveying of the Binkley Cave System, which is a part of the Indiana Caverns show cave, began in 1957, over 60 years ago! Surveying continues of the Binkley Cave System as it’s believed there are over 100 miles to be mapped.
Massive amounts of Ice Age bones found.
When the Indiana Cavern’s portion of Binkley Cave system was discovered in 2010, massive amounts of bones were seen: birds, snake, microfauna, and larger species. The name “Big Bone Mountain” was coined immediately. The five hour crawl through water to glimpse the bones kept them in mystery for almost two years.
The Binkley Connection
On Saturday, February 11th, 2012, a connection between Blowing Hole and Binkley Caves were discovered. The Binkley Cave System became the 11th longest in the nation and the longest in Indiana. Their combined length totaled 35.89 miles with more passageways awaiting discovery. The impact of this discovery was huge. A public entrance to Binkley Cave could now be created to allow visitors into the cave system. Previously all entrances were located on private property with restricted access. As of October 2016, the cave is over 43.9 miles long.
With the creation of a new entrance in 2012, the first paleontologist visited. During his initial 6-hour visit, the state paleontologist saw 11 peccary skulls, a black bear skull, a juvenile bison, a fisher skeleton, bird bones, a snake, bear wallows, and claw marks. He immediately realized our bones were extraordinary and of significant importance.
Show Cave Officially Open for Public Tours
After an immense cache of significant prehistoric remains was discovered and preserved, Indiana Caverns officially opens for public tours in June of 2013. The development phase to get it ready for the public took 380 days to prepare.
Indiana Cave System Now in Top Tier of American Caves
A four-person speleological survey team added 1,763 feet of a recently discovered section of the Binkley Cave system known as The Wild Wild West. The new, established survey length of 38.452 miles means this cave is now the ninth longest in the country. The team explored at least another 1,000 feet of walking virgin cave beyond the official survey, demonstrating that there is much more cave to be mapped.
An excavation, led by the Indiana State Museum, to identify and classify Ice Age Bones found at Indiana Caverns. Indiana State Museum staff have been conducting excavations in other caves for over 30 years and found just one complete Peccary skull prior to discoveries at Indiana Caverns.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long are wait times?
30 minutes or less-most days
Typical summer wait will be 30- 40 minutes or less. Wait times may increase on holidays or peak summer weekends. Off-season tours can be an hour apart. We always put you on the very next available tour, no waiting for tours on a set schedule. We have a variety of things that you can enjoy if a wait is necessary.
Tours leave frequently throughout the day. Arrive by 4:30 pm EDT on weekends to be guaranteed a spot on the last tour of the day through Labor Day (4 pm on summer weekdays and the remainder of the year) There are also other activities to enjoy at Indiana Caverns.
How long is the cave tour?
80 minutes on average
Time times may vary from 75-90 minutes depending on the size of the tour, walking ability and even the questions asked. Visit our tour pages for tour distance, boat ride time, depth, and other tour-related information.
How cold is the cave? What should I wear?
The cave is 56 degrees year round-like a pleasant spring or fall afternoon. You may appreciate a jacket or long sleeves during the underground boat ride. Good walking shoes are recommended. However, most anything without high heels should be fine. Thong sandals and flip flops are not suitable.
Who can go on a cave tour? Any restrictions?
Most people, but it’s not handicap accessible.
People of all ages are able to join the cave tour. Although Indiana Caverns is not handicap accessible, most anyone who can walk unassisted should be able to enjoy the tour.
There are 110 feet of elevation change in Indiana Caverns. From the visitors’ center, it is mostly downhill to the underground river. On the way out, the tour route climbs almost 110 feet from the underground river level back through the Big Bone Mountain room and up the ramp into the Visitors Center. Visitors must be able to walk up several ramps and several sections with some steps.
Small Children or Infants
Small children are welcome. If they can not yet walk, they will need to be carried in your arms or a front carrier for the cave tour. Strollers and backpacks are not permitted. Partway through the cave tour is an underground boat ride, which gives everyone a chance to sit down, rest, and relax.
Enjoy your drinks and snacks before the tour, no food, drink, or snacks allowed in the cave.
What if it is raining?
Open Rain or Shine
Rain makes the cave even more beautiful! We are not closed for rain or other weather patterns.
Can I buy tickets online?
Yes, up to 11 Tickets!
Individuals may buy up to 11 tickets online. Show your receipt at the counter to receive your actual tickets and tour time.
Can I take my pet?
Pets are not allowed in the cave, for their protection and the protection of the cave’s delicate environment.
What is there to do nearby?
A Whole Lot
There is a great selection of shopping and dining options, wineries, hotels, cabins, and bed & breakfasts all within 10 minutes of the cavern. Check out www.thisisindiana.org for nearby attractions and things to do.