Friday, November 27, 2015

Get Married in Bridal Cave!

Bridal Cave, Camdenton MO, Lake of the Ozarks, weddingsGetting married is one of the most important things that you will do in your lifetime.  Making the experience fun and unique will make it even more special. One of the most incredible places to get married at the Lake of the Ozarks at Bridal Cave.  

If you are planning a small wedding of under 100 people and you are a couple with a flair for adventure, then Bridal Cave may be the perfect wedding venue for you.  It is an absolutely breathtaking backdrop for your nuptials with a lot of history.  Over 3,000 couples from around the world have exchanged vows here with us.      

Get Married Any Time of the Year

Bridal Cave is a perfect place to get married, no matter what time of year it is. Our stalactite adorned chapel inside of the cave is available year round and can fit up to 50 people.  The temperature remains at a constant, comfortable 60 degrees, so you know exactly what to expect on your wedding day, no matter what the temperature is outside.  

If you would prefer to get married with the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks for the backdrop, we also have an outdoor pavilion that has seating for up to 80 guests. A new waterfall and botanical garden are being prepared for the 2016 spring wedding season.  Even more gorgeous atmosphere to add to what is already here.    

Bridal Cave, Camdenton MO, Lake of the Ozarks, weddings

Award-winning Wedding Venue

You don't just have to take our word for it.  We have been given a few spectacular titles and awards over the years for our weddings at Bridal Cave.  

Bridal Cave, Camdenton MO, Lake of the Ozarks, weddings

Wedding Packages

We offer a couple of different packages to fit your wedding day needs. Reservations are taken with a minimum of 7 days notice.  If anyof your guests would like to take a cave tour before the wedding, we are happy to extend them a 25% discount discount on all admissions.     

Bridal Cave, Camdenton MO, Lake of the Ozarks, weddings

Bridal Cave, Camdenton MO, Lake of the Ozarks, weddings

Our wedding prices will be increasing slightly in 2016 (for the first time in a decade), but there is still time to lock in the 2015 prices for your ceremony.  If you book your wedding by December 31, 2015, we will honor this year's pricing, which is a savings of $95.00.  If you know for sure that you would like to say "I do" at Bridal Cave, give us a call and get your date booked.   

Getting married at the Lake of the Ozarks is a beautiful way to start your new life together as man and wife.  Having the ceremony at Bridal Cave is the perfect way to make the experience even more unique and special.  If you would like more information about weddings at Bridal Cave, please visit our website to view our brochure or give us a call at 573-346-2676.  

One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Caves Are Fun, No Matter What the Weather!

The days are getting colder outside and a lot of attractions around the Lake area have closed down for the season.  Well, the best year-round attraction at the Lake of the Ozarks is still open, and we will stay open, no matter what the weather.  It doesn't matter what's going on outside because Bridal Cave remains a pleasant 60 degrees all of the time.  

Bridal Cave has been in continuous, year-round operation since 1948.  It can be freezing in the winter and blistery hot in the summer outdoors, but our cave temperature remains at a comfortable 60 degrees.  This phenomena has a name - the "Mean Temperature."  If you add together the high temperature of each day for a year and average those, you will come up with 60 degrees.  Cool, huh! This constant temperature allows us to host a reliable and fun attraction to visit any day.      


If it gets below freezing outside, you might be tempted to hide in the house, all cozy and warm.  This is fine for a while, but soon you'll fell the desire to get out of there.  Imagine how nice it will be to step into Bridal Cave, shed that heavy winter coat, and feel like it's a cool, Fall day again.  It will feel downright warm after running through the cold from the car to the cave entrance.  


Occasionally, summer days at the Lake of the Ozarks will be in the 90's.  Even if you stay cool in the lake or a pool, after a while that sun gets to be too much. A nice break from the constant heat is to take a tour through the cooler temps of the cave.  60 degrees on the hottest days in the summer is an unbelievable relief from the heat.    


If it's raining outside, the cave is the perfect place to duck out of the precipitation and still enjoy a little nature.  A day on the water isn't a lot of fun when the water is coming into the boat!  It's tough to get a game of golf in when it's pouring, too.  If the schools are having a snow day but you've got no problem getting out of your driveway, you're going to want to find something fun to do.  Exploring Bridal Cave keeps you away from the elements and entertained.  

You are welcome to visit us for a tour from 9 am - 4 pm nearly every single day of the year.  The only days that Bridal Cave will be closed are Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.  Celebrate with your family and friends on those three days, then bring the whole gang to explore with us the day after!

What we're trying to say is, Bridal Cave is fun, no matter what the weather! Warm winter fun, cool summer fun, dry rainy day fun...  We've got it all.  The next time you feel trapped in the house and need something fun to do, head on over to one of the most scenic caves in America.  You'll be glad that you did.     

One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Explore Thunder Mountain Park

The most scenic cave tour in Missouri is surrounded by the natural beauty of Thunder Mountain Park.  This incredible Lake of the Ozarks attraction covers hundreds of acres.  It spreads over more than a mile of Lake of the Ozraks shoreline, a mile of highway frontage along Old Missouri Route 5, and all the acreage in between.  That is a lot of nature to be explored!

Establishing the park

Thunder Mountain Park was established in 1950 in order to protect the caves within it.  The amazing colors and incredible onyx formations inside of Bridal Cave are all formed by minerals from rain water that seeps into the ground. This is a process called deposition.  Preserving the natural state of the park above the cave prevents any changes to the surface area, which could have a detrimental impact on the deposition process.  Protecting the surface area protects the water quality, which in turn protects the cave.    
Aerial view of Thunder Mountain before 1950

A unique, rural attraction

Bridal Cave is just one of many caves inside of Thunder Mountain Park.  There are actually 11 caves here, including Bear Cave, which is found along a half-mile lakeside nature trail.  This trail offers unique rock outcroppings and spectacular lake views.  You can arrange to take a flashlight tour of Bear Cave as a part of our 2-hour educational field trip tour. (This is by reservation only for groups of 15 or more.)      

One very unique fact about this family attraction at the Lake of the Ozarks is that it is within a very rural setting.  Many of the local attractions at the Lake are surrounded my mini-golf courses, shopping malls, and restaurants.  When you visit Thunder Mountain Park, you are likely to pass houses with children playing in the yard and riding bikes instead of those other touristy things.  

Once inside the park area, you may catch glimpses of an abundance of wildlife.  Sightings are often reported of whitetail deer, bald eagles, turkeys, red foxes, squirrels, and groundhogs.  It is very accurate to describe a trip here as a back to nature experience that is reminiscent of the Ozark Mountains as they were decades ago. 

Thunder Mountain Park is full of complex plant and animal communities.  It contains glades and savannas. Depending on which part of the park that you are in, you will experience a variety of sights.  The south side gets the most sunlight, so it gets green the fastest in the spring, but dries up the quickest in the summer.  The north side gets the least sun exposure, so it stays moist much longer.  If you make your way down to the hollow, the temperatures will be just a bit cooler than elsewhere in the park.  These differences attribute to the particular plants and animals that choose to live in different sections of the park.

So much to explore

Thunder Mountain Park is a great day outdoors that can be visited many times for a wonderful day full of nature fun.  Its includes:

  • Bridal Cave tours
  • an underground wedding chapel
  • a lakeside wedding pavilion
  • a boat dock where you can feed the fish (no fishing allowed)
  • a lakeside picnic pavilion with seating for up to 80
  • a scenic lookout over the Big Niangua Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks
  • a working sluice where you can pan for gemstones
  • a souvenir shop
  • an extensive rock and mineral shop

In the center of Thunder Mountain Park is the Thunder Mountain Conservation Area.  This spot is operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation and includes: 

  • a visitors center
  • 3/4-mile nature trail
  • archery lanes
  • picnic facilities
  • a 100-foot tall fire tower, with a viewing platform at 80-feet  
Thunder Mountain Conservation Area 

The future

Plans are well-underway for improvements and additions to the park.  These include:
  • additional landscaping
  • new park benches
  • new picnic tables
  • a waterfall
  • a botanical garden

Thunder Mountain Park is already a spectacular place to explore.  The work that is currently being done on this amazing Lake of the Ozarks attraction is turning it into an even more incredible place to spend an eventful day.  Visit us soon to enjoy all that our park has to offer, and please come back often.  With all of the wildlife, natural beauty, and seasonal changes that the Lake area has to offer, you are sure to have a different adventure every time that you visit.  


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676

Friday, November 6, 2015

The History of Bridal Cave

Bridal Cave has a very interesting past.  It's story goes back long before the Lake of the Ozarks was created.  As early as 8,000 BC, Native Americans were using caves in the area for shelter, and more than likely Bridal Cave was one of those used.  We will begin this tale with the first organized exploration over 150 years ago of what is now known as one the best attractions at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Bridal Cave Visitors Center, 1968

The first organized exploration of portions of Bridal Cave is recorded.  B.D. Dodson is credited with this feat.  The next major exploration is done by S.W. Burke four years later.  

Over 5400 acres of land is purchased by Colonel R.G. Scott.  That area is now known as Ha Ha Tonka State Park, and it includes Bridal Cave.  Colonel Scott is very impressed and wants to know how it got the name Bridal Cave, so he begins researching the subject.  He is credited for being the first person to publish the now famous legend of Bridal Chapel in his book, "Indian Romances."

F.M. Snyder buys 2500 acres of the original Ha Ha Tonka tract.  Not only does this section include Bridal Cave, but six other major caves too.  

Noted archaeologist Gerald Fowke states that "Formations within Bridal Cave are equal to those of Wyandotte and the Caverns of Luray."  High praise, because those are considered the two most scenic caves in America.   

BF Krehbiel - Developer and
Eddie Miller - First Manager

Construction begins on Bagnell Dam, and in 1931 the Lake of the Ozarks begins to fill in.

Bridal Cave is purchased by B.F. Krehbiel and he decides to open it to the public.  He also plays key roles in the development of Ozark Caverns, Fantasy World Caverns, and Fantastic Caverns.  BF and Myrtle Krehbiel have two partners in the initial purchase and development of Bridal Cave - James H. Banner and R.L. Wilkerson.  Lee W. Farmer would join the ownership group in the late 1950's. Members of the Krehbiel, Wilkerson, and Farmer families are still involved in the ownership of Bridal Cave today.       

October 16, 1948
Bridal Cave officially opens to the public.  It takes six months to prepare for the opening of the cave entrance, including building a road from Highway 5.  

The first couple (in modern times) is married in Bridal Cave Chapel.  Mr. & Mrs. Basil Cole of Sedalia, Missouri return every year on their anniversary for over 50 years.  

A new visitor's center is constructed at the cave entrance.  Today it is used for the Bridal Cave souvenir shop.  

Divers get a chance to explore the lake inside of the cave.  It is given the name "Mystery Lake" because of a very curious finding.  There is only one entrance to the cave that has ever been discovered, yet somehow wood debris made its way into the bottom of the lake.  It is a complete mystery how early explorers moved what looks to be old scaffolding or a raft so far back into the cave.  

Plans are announced for constructing a tunnel to connect the lake section to the historic Bridal Cave section.  

Noted as the first major cave opening in over 20 years, this new section of Bridal Cave is opened to the public.  

The grand opening of the new visitor's center at Thunder Mountain Park takes place.  All of the original buildings were removed in 1992 for this update.  

The newest addition to the park is presented to the public.  Thunder Mountain Mining Company is presented as a complete rock and mineral shop.    

A group of four people venture into the far reaches of Bridal Cave.  It has not been traveled in for 22 years, since the exploration of Mystery Lake in 1981. This section is now fully mapped above water, and the exploration of the underwater portions seem promising.

Bridal Cave turns 65.  It celebrates by hosting the National Caves Association Convention.  Over 150 cave owners and operators attend from all over the world.  

Glamour magazine names Bridal Chapel one of the "Top 10 Most Unique Wedding Venues in America".  

A record is set for 209 ceremonies being performed in Bridal Chapel in one day during the annual "Renew Your Vows For Free for Valentine's Event".  Bridal Cave also surpasses its 3000 weddings mark.  

This past September, 2015, Thunder Mountain Park began an aggressive beautification improvement project.  Among the many improvements planned are additional landscaping, new park benches and picnic tables, a waterfall, and botanical garden.      

A lot of exciting things have happened over the years to make Bridal Cave the best family attraction at the Lake of the Ozarks.  We expect it to keep getting better and better.  Visit us soon, and visit us often.  There is a lot to discover and lot more tales to tell.  

One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676