DeSoto Caverns

DeSoto Caverns, A Historic Shelter

DeSoto Caverns Healing All Cathedral

Along with the world, we are rejoicing today that the Thai soccer team has emerged from their “wild cave" exploration to receive treatment and rejoin their families. This event has sparked both suspense and hope in the hearts of caring people around the world. We are thrilled and celebrating today as the Thai Navy SEALs successfully rescued the 12 boys and their coach. With the many individuals who have been closely watching this rescue mission, the caverns community has been in conversation and prayer for the excellent news we’ve received today. We’ve also been focused on educating the public regarding caverns safety and specifically the differentiation between wild caves and show caves.

In order to bring more understanding to how this situation in Thailand began, it’s important to know the difference between wild caves and show caves. We’ll begin with the basics of the definitions of wild caves versus show caves. Show caves are defined as caves which have been made accessible to the public for guided visits, but wild caves are defined as caves that have few or no provisions which make it easy for the general public to visit. The show caves of America have many procedures in place in order to make your visit into this unique natural environment safe.  The Thai soccer team went exploring within some wild caves in Thailand that were not open to the public, the team had no knowledgeable guide, and they had no provisions to make the expedition safe. This kind of excursion is illegal in America, as caves are protected natural resources and also going into a cavern without granted access is trespassing. Journeying into a show cave is as different from an expedition into a wild cave as taking a walk up a hill is different than climbing Mount Everest. We understand that just as mountains are unique with different obstacles or levels of difficulty, caverns are also unique and knowing the difference between taking a tour and going on a wild cavern expedition is important when discussing cave safety.

 Al Mathis, CEO: “If there ever were any kind of emergency, you would find me running into the cave for shelter, not away from it.”

Al Mathis, CEO: “If there ever were any kind of emergency, you would find me running into the cave for shelter, not away from it.”

Now that we’ve addressed the difference between wild caves and show caves, it’s important to know more about how safe DeSoto Caverns is as a show cave. DeSoto Caverns has been a shelter cave for over 2,000 years of human history, which is longer than any standing building in the US! DeSoto Caverns is the most historic cave in the United States featuring mastodon bones, a Native American habitation, and is the first cave on record in the US, thanks to one of George Washington’s Native American Scouts in 1796. This cave has served as a haven for a variety of people as well as animals throughout history and currently offers a safe tour which includes no steps, feels cool (60° year-round), has never flooded since its creation. It also has excellent air quality, which is why the Native Americans called our largest room the “Healing All Cathedral.”  This first room is larger than a football field and the ceiling is high enough to fit a 12 story building in it. A small car can be driven into the cave and at no time are guests more that 200 yards from the entrance. Owner Al Mathis has commented “If there ever were any kind of emergency, you would find me running into the cave for shelter, not away from it.”

Our hope is that as people are educated about how diverse caves are, they will understand the safe environment show caves provide and will also know the risk involved in exploring wild caves. We hope we have the opportunity to host your future safe adventure within this historic beautiful natural shelter.

Home Sweet Home 2018 - Food, Music, and Family Fun

Right now at DeSoto Caverns, our team is working hard to prep for our 2nd Annual Home Sweet Home, a Food & Music Festival. We are eagerly awaiting the event, which will take place on June 30 & July 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For many families across the United States, Independence Day is much more than just another day off work. It’s a time to honor the unity and freedom our Nation stands for. It’s also a time to cherish those closest to you.

Between the flashy fireworks and tasty barbeque, it is easy to overlook the reason we celebrate. We want to bring light to our country’s journey to get to this point in history. Too frequently we fail to remember the members of our military who put their lives on the line for our incredible nation so that some of us never had to. Independence Day is a day for all Americans to stand as one and show their pride. There really is something so powerful about millions of people standing together and embracing our country's unity.

We invite you to join us in fostering new memories with your family and friends while celebrating the freedom our Nation represents. This is the perfect time to commemorate our country’s past, present, and future through friendship, entertainment, and cuisine.

As we’re preparing for the second round of Home Sweet Home, we’re reflecting on all the fantastic memories made last year. We were thrilled with last years turnout, and know none of it would have been possible without our wonderful vendors, performers, staff, and guests. However, our most treasured remembrance from last year’s event was seeing all the smiling faces and the memories being made. Sometimes the best things in life are the memories you make with the people you love—and this is exactly what we want our guests to take away from Home Sweet Home.

This year, our park will be bursting with lively entertainment from passionate performers and artists as well as delectable treats from local food trucks.

Last year guests enjoyed fantastic performances from Jessica Baker, Keegan Bost, and Casey Thrasher—and we can’t wait to have them accompany us once again! We are also thrilled to have two additional musicians, Justin Cross and Tayllor Hanson, performing this year. Learn more about our artists and listen to samples of their music here

We are ecstatic to have Todd Key, who is always a crowd-pleaser with his unbelievable juggling while on stilts skills, perform again. This year, comedy and entertainment expert Carrie McQueen will be joining in on the fun. These two are a duo you won’t want to miss.

You can take a break from the heat and delight in savory food from Chick-Fil-A, Nelchie’s Cajun or Cabrone’s Tacos, or indulge in a refreshing treat from the Repicci’s Italian Ice & Gelato truck.

Whether it’s the tunes drifting throughout the park, the divine smells of local food trucks or the mind-blowing acts from our numerous entertainers, there is something for every member of the family to enjoy! We look forward to seeing you at DeSoto Caverns July 30th - July 1st. Home Sweet Home will certainly make for a memorable Independence Day spent celebrating our country’s freedom.

Learn more about our entertainers and purchase your tickets here.

Group Camping in the Cave

For those groups seeking something beyond the ordinary, look no further than an overnight stay in the mesmerizing DeSoto Caverns. Many have camped, but few can say they've camped in the depths of the earth.

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Summer is just around the corner and whether you’re part of a youth group, Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop, or planning a church group excursion, we have the ultimate outdoor/indoor experience!  And don’t worry about traveling too far, we are located just 36 miles southeast of Birmingham down Highway 280.

This is one of the greatest camping experiences as it maximizes your capacity to enjoy the wonder while also experiencing the beauty of the caverns' sounds people have enjoyed for thousands of years.

Don’t worry about being too disconnected from the outside world, either. We provide amenities such as outlets to blow up air mattresses and WiFi to keep friends and family updated during your stay. The cave can be dark at night so we recommend bringing a flashlight or lantern. While many caves drop to very low temperatures, our cave is sixty degrees year round which also makes it an excellent, temperate place to enjoy your stay.

With any of our overnight packages, you’ll be able to spend 12 hours in the cave and take an extended lantern-lit tour of the caverns. On the tour, you will learn about the prehistoric Indians that lived and died in the caverns, Confederate soldiers that mined gunpowder, early Indian traders that visited, and moonshine making during prohibition times. You will also be able to enjoy our flashlight maze attraction during your stay.  

Additional packages let you choose more attractions from our 20+ “wacky” attractions, including our Panning for Gemstones, Wall Climb, and the always popular Cannon Wars. And if your group would enjoy a unique meal experience, we provide a hot dog roast over campfires in the evening and breakfast pastries, cereal and fruit with our Legendary Overnight and Epic Overnight experiences.

You can also enjoy a delicious treat from the Cave Café during your stay. We’ve chosen to partner with local, quality companies in order to provide and serve incredible food and drink options that contribute to making memorable moments. You can also bring a souvenir home from our gift shop!

We think our overnight cave experience is great, but don’t take our word for it. Here are what customers have said about camping with us!

“We were there on a school field trip and stayed overnight in the cave. The kids loved the entire experience. The games and activities outside kept them occupied for hours. The tour guides were great with the kids, very patient and so nice with all of them. The kids learned so much on the cave tour and really loved all the one on one interaction.” - Angie

“Our Boy Scout Troop 1513 from Atlanta (Union City, GA) had a great time. The cavern was wonderful and spending the night in the cave was probably the coolest thing for the boys.” - Monique

“We took our scouts to do an overnighter in the cavern....our boys had a blast and we had an amazing set of guides.  What an amazing adventure. Thank you Desoto Caverns” - Eric


We guarantee a night unlike any other. For pricing information and FAQs about staying overnight in the caverns, visit here.

DeSoto Caverns Local Love

DeSoto Caverns Local Love

DeSoto Caverns is different from other parks in that we didn’t choose our location. Our caverns were formed in central Alabama and have played a part of the rich, local history of this area. They aren’t going anywhere, and neither are we, which is why we desire to build bridges with the surrounding community. We want to be intentional about showing our appreciation.