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Ultimate Guide to Airmen’s Cave, Texas (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

Ultimate Guide to Airmen’s Cave, Texas (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

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Airmen’s Cave is a historic destination in San Antonio, Texas. The cave has been open as a tourist attraction since the 1970s and has been visited by thousands of want-to-be cavers until it was closed down for safety. In this guide, you will learn about the history of this cave, see pictures from inside the cave, find out how much it costs for a tour, and more!

Ultimate Guide to Airmen’s Cave, Texas (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

Airmen’s Cave is adjacent to Barton Creek and is more than 11,000 ft long. It is considered a cave suitable for intermediate and advanced spelunkers as it has a plethora of tight corridors and access to only a handful of rooms.


In most sections, one has to pull himself through the narrow passages with the strength of the forearms and on your belly. Many rescue operations have taken place here over the years, for which the cave is now inaccessible to the public. 

Airmen’s Cave, Texas

The cave was kept open to the public for a long time, but a sharp rise in rescue operations and evidence of the cave being used for illegal substance abuse had come to the forefront. So, a decision was reached to close the cave to the public to safeguard its ecology and prevent its apparent misuse.  

History of Airmen’s Cave

This cave was formed as a part of the Edwards limestone, and it initially acted as a feeder system for Barton Springs before the stream found a different course. The cave was discovered in 1971 by a couple of airmen from the Bergstrom Air Force Base.

History of Airmen’s Cave

They were walking along Barton Creek and suddenly spotted a crack in the adjacent cliff. A steady flow of cool air passed through the crevice, which indicated that it extended far deeper than the small fissure.

The men desired to know where the hole led; so, they began to dig and discovered an underground marvel that came to be known as one of the most mysterious and complicated caves in Texas. 

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Geological Cave Formations in Airmen’s Cave

The various rooms in this cave have been given a name, as is common with many other caves across the country. The Sherwood Forest room has lots of formations called stalactites hanging from the 2 ft ceiling. It is difficult to pass through these hanging stalactites, and you need to crawl on all fours while passing through the maze of formations. 

Map of Airmen’s Cave (Unofficial Map)

Map of Airmen's Cave

Wildlife in Airmen’s Cave

This cave is host to various creatures, namely raccoons, scorpions, millipedes, spiders, and cave crickets. This is just one of the challenging areas of this cave to work through.

Download our FREE Airmen’s Cave Guide (Unofficial) 

Is Airmen’s Cave Haunted?

The cave is not haunted, that we know of – it hasn’t been reported as such.

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How Big is Airmen’s Cave?

The Airmen’s Cave is a little over 11,000 ft in length.  

Airmen’s Cave Tours

The Airmen’s Cave poses many technical difficulties for any spelunker, whatever his level of experience may be. The entrance of the cave is known as a birthing canal as it is very narrow, and the cavers are only guided by the light of their headlamps. The cavers will find this after moving 20 ft into the entrance.

It is easier to get through the “Birth Canal” when you are fresh and going into the cave. A lot of people forgot the challenge of it and were tired and unable to do it on their way out.

The passage is so constricted that you can only move forward after exhaling. The passage is big enough to accommodate an adult and can induce claustrophobia in some people. From there, one would go through the ‘Sherwood Forest’ wherein you would have to crawl on all fours and negotiate through the stalactites that hang from the 2 ft ceiling. 

There is also the ‘Aggie Art Gallery,’ a room in the cavern littered with clay sculptures of dragons, monsters, and phallic figures that the former cavers have created. Most of the cavers turn back from here, but some have ventured further and explored the Geode Room, which has wall-to-wall glistening crystals. However, this is hard to believe as none of the cavers have brought any proof of the very existence of this room. 

Several emergency rescue operations have been carried out in this cave, prompting the authorities to hire a cave manager to look after Airmen’s Cave. The cave is now fully gated and is no longer accessible to the public. 

irmen’s Cave Tour Prices and Discounts

Airmen’s Cave Tour Prices and Discounts

There are no tours available for the public, and the authorities have gated the cave. 

Is Airmen’s Cave Cold?

The temperature inside the cave is a bit cooler than outside.

What to Wear?

You can wear light comfortable clothes with proper walking shoes. There is no need to carry woolens or a light jacket if you are coming during spring or summer.  

It is smart to dress in layers as you may want to remove items as you work your way through the tighter crawlspaces.

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Airmen’s Cave Hours

The cave is not currently open to tourists/

What to Do at Airmen’s Cave (Beside Tours)

There are no tours here, and the cave is now closed to the public. Once you are here, you can check out the surroundings and the adjoining areas.  

It is a gorgeous area for hikers to explore, and you can also visit the other two large caves in this area.

What to Do at Airmen’s Cave (Beside Tours)

Best Time to Visit Airmen’s Caves

The cave can be visited any time of the year, you may or may not gain entrance though.

How to Get to Airmen’s Cave

The cave is adjacent to Barton Creek in Travis County in South Austin. The cave is within the premises of the Barton Creek Greenbelt public park and under the management of the City of Austin’s Parks and Recreations Department.  

The entrance to the cave is located at the end of a steep and slippery decline on Barton Creek that makes it difficult for visitors to make their way down, especially when the creek is swollen with water after rains. The exit from the cave is located on the opposite bank, and visitors need to cross Barton Creek to get there.

Hotels near Airmen’s Cave

There are several decent accommodation options near Airmen’s Cave. It is easy to find a hotel that suits your budget and needs. 

Visiting Airmen’s Cave

Do you need more information before visiting Airmen’s Cave? You can write an email to the Airmen’s Cave manager and request an information packet and possibly gain entry to the cave.

What to Do at Airmen’s Cave (Beside Tours)

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