Talking Rocks Caverns, originally known as Fairy Cave, claims to be the most beautiful cave in Missouri of the 7,000+ caves and caverns in the state. It is privately owned but the gift shop and tour guide talks are reminiscent of a well-organized state or national park operation. Tickets are about $22 with discounts for children. The name “Fairy Cave” comes about because when Truman Powell first discovered the cave opening and peered in with his oil lantern, all he could see was a large stalactite formation that resembled an angel or fairy. The owners spent many years exploring the various caverns and building concrete steps for visitors. Interestingly, they did not remove or cover any formations but built the steps around the fragile geology. There are 150 steps down, an exciting squeeze through a 90 foot tall formation called the Grand Cathedral and then 115 steps back up. I found myself gaping open-mouthed throughout as there is quite a lot to look at and take in.
The Talking Rocks Caverns tour takes an hour and there are dozens of photo ops during that time. Photography is welcomed but the guide also takes each tourist’s photo at the end for purchase, if you wish. The steps remain wet year round so bring proper shoes for walking up and down slippery steps. They say the cave maintains a cool 62 degrees year round also and I did wear my sweatshirt hoodie but would have been fine without.
There is enough room in the parking lot for RVs or trailers.