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Fantastic Caverns Jeep Train

• CATEGORIES: Features, Other 4x4s, Women & Jeeps • TAGS: , .

Craig forwarded the below excerpt and photo from his local coop paper.  I went to the website and spotted an additional photo (above). Here’s the location of the caverns.

Here is the text from Craig’s news article:

“Missouri is blessed with a number of remarkable show caves open to the public. One of the most unique is Fantastic Caverns, located just north of Springfield. The cave, which is served by Ozark Electric Cooperative, was first discovered in 1862 when a farmer’s dog crawled through what was then a narrow opening.

It wasn’t fully explored until 5 years later when a group of intrepid women responded to a newspaper challenge. What makes Fantastic Caverns so unique are the Jeep trams that carry visitors through the cave on a guided tour. This makes the 1 mile, 50-minute tour accessible to just about anyone, including seniors, children and those in wheelchairs.
Inside the cave are natural wonders created by the constant drip of acidic water through soluble limestone. Tour guides point out stalagtites and stalagmites, towering columns with colorful mineral stains, large deposits of flowstones and delicate draperies.

They also tell how the auditorium room was once used for weekly country music concerts in the 1950’s and mid-1960’s. A trip through Fantastic Caverns combines equal parts of awe and wonder with a lesson in history and science. In fact, the cavern is known as “Missouri’s oldest classroom.”

The tour costs $22.50 for adults and $14.50 for children. A discount for groups of 20 or more is available. The cave is open from 8 a.m. to dusk year-round except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas.
For more information, call 417-833-2010 or visit www.fantasticcaverns.com

 

6 Comments on “Fantastic Caverns Jeep Train

  1. Ed Lee

    A friend of mine and his wife toured this place a couple of years ago and he told me the old flat fenders that were originally used as pull vehicles are still stored inside the cave. He asked the tour guide how they got the jeeps inside the cave and was told that they were lowered in with cranes. They are converted to run on propane and it is cheaper to store the old jeeps in the caves than to haul them out.
    That would be the ultimate barn find.
    Stored in a controlled environment. Never exposed to the elements. Very low miles. Never abused.

  2. Bo

    That’s cool, Ed. I was wondering about that since my first thought was “wow, I’d have to issue gas masks since my (jeep’s) exhaust is so bad!”

  3. Kirk Hansen

    We have enjoyed a long, reliable history with Jeep here at Fantastic Caverns. We currently have our original cave tour Jeep on display in our Visitor Center. Information about that Jeep (CJ-3A) and our fleet tour history is available in the Press section of our website. Just FYI, we started using LPG as fuel in the early 1970’s. Two noticable results: No nasty exhaust in the cave and no carbon build-up in the engines. We sold our earlier fleet of CJ-5s in the late 80’s. Had 7 to sell and could have sold 70! All were very strong mechanically. (By the way, we ussed to park fleet inside the cave. This is a perfect environment if you are a Bondo salesman). Replaced with 89 model Wranglers. Have since added a late model fuel-injected Jeep. Good service from newer Jeeps, wear parts are getting a little tricky.

  4. mmdeilers Post author

    Hi KIrk,

    Thanks for all the information! My wife and I will definitely drop by to visit your Fantastic Caverns the next time we are in MIssouri (and of course document the experience here).

    – David Eilers

  5. Dj Bill

    Stopped by and visited the caverns today, didn’t go for a tour as my main interest was the jeeps. Got several pictures of the 47/48 3A and a few of the Wranglers.. Very interesting place and one day I will definitely go for a ride thru the cave too.

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