No one needs an excuse to visit central Missouri's stunning Lake of the Ozarks. The huge, 92 mile-long reservoir was created by impounding the Osage River. Activities include boating, fishing, water skiing, jet-skiing, and other forms of recreating. The lake's 1,150 miles of shoreline offers golfing, shopping, dining, state parks, and attractions like Bridal Cave.
The Cave Legend
Bridal Cave gets its name from an old Osage legend.
A maiden from one local tribe married a brave from another in a room in the cave that is filled with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. Though quite probably apocryphal, the name stuck and the legend has lived on since at least the early 1800's.
Not only that but the cave can still be reserved for weddings. In fact, over 3,000 couples have exchanged vows in the cave!
Guided tours of the cave follow easy to navigate concrete pathways from room to room. Your guide will point out formations of interest as well as relate the history and legends of the cave.
The cave remains a constant 60° and filled with incredible mineral deposits. You'll see giant columns of stone, delicate soda straw formations, massive draperies of limestone, and crystal clear Mystery Lake. All formed by water percolating down from the surface above. As it drips and flows, the water wears away some minerals and leaves deposits from others behind. The process takes millions of years, leaving behind treasures your eyes will never forget.
Lantern Tours will take you back to a time when caves were explored with hand held lanterns. Imagine the excitement and mystery as you plunge into the inky black with only your lanterns lighting the way! This tour also includes a souvenir LED lantern that you get to keep. Space is limited and Lantern Tours are only offered seasonally. Learn more at the cave website.
Thunder Mountain Park
Done touring the caverns? Visit Thunder Mountain Park! Thunder Mountain offers a lakeside gift shop, decks, nature trails, picnic areas, a public boat dock, observation tower, and snacks.
The park also includes Thunder Mountain Mining Company, a unique shop specializing in rocks, minerals, gemstones, gifts and tools for rock hounds. You can also pan for semi precious minerals to take home. Loads of fun.
Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park
526 Bridal Cave Rd, Camdenton, MO 65020
Located two miles North of Camdenton, MO on State Highway 5 and at the 10 1/2 mile marker of the Big Niangua arm of Lake of the Ozarks. Hours vary by season. Check the cave website for hours, directions, and other information. You can also find it on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.
No matter where your Missouri adventures take you, you're going to need somewhere to call your home base. Luckily, there are locally owned Missouri inns and B&B's all across the state, offering the very best in Missouri lodging. A Missouri bed and breakfast offers uncommonly comfortable amenities, nutritious breakfasts, and an insider’s knowledge of the area. Choose your Missouri accommodations now!