The Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail – Ridgedale Missouri
The gorgeous Ozark Mountains, located at the crossing of the states of Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, impress by their peaks over 2,500 feet, astonishing waterfalls, old rock formations, and breathtaking landscapes.
But one site that stands out from the Ozarks is for sure Top of the Rock. Here you can find unique accommodations, recreation, and attractions. The Branson Resort offers various types of rooms and services, delicious cuisine at Osage Restaurant, or a casual dining experience at Buffalo Bar. For wine lovers, there is even a Wine Cellar that serves tastings of fine wines, whiskeys, and more.
Top of the Rock site offers several things to do. You can spend your day having a nice picnic, relaxing in the sun or swim at Table Rock Lake. You can venture into Talking Rocks Cavern on a guided walking tour, or you can explore the numerous Native American artifacts at the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum.
However, the most popular activity is the Lost Canyon Cave and nature trail. Throughout the tour, you will see the typography of the Ozarks, stunning waterfalls, and marvelous rock formations that will grasp your attention. And of course, the crown of the trip, the Canyon Cave that contains an astonishing waterfall inside.
If you do not like to hike and walk long trails on a mountain, this is the tour that you want to go in. One of the fun parts of the trip is that you can make the tour in a comfortable ride on a golf cart. But if you want to walk instead, you can also do that with a tour guide. Have in mind though that this is not a trip for proper hiking lovers and active persons.
The golf cart tour is more suitable for friends, couples, families, for older individuals and small children who don’t want to walk around nature and explore that much. The carts can hold up to four people. You don’t need any special equipment, but the driver must be at least 18 years old to drive the golf cart.
Where it is and how to get there?
The exact location of the site is 7 miles south of the Branson Landing and about 10 – 15 minutes to the strip, around 20 minutes to Silver Dollar City.
The closest airports to the site are Branson Airport and Springfield-Branson National Airport. At the moment, there is no bus or transportation provided by the resort, but there are several taxi services available and rental car agency options.
When is the best time to make this trip?
According to the Top of the Rock visitors’ opinions on review forums, the spring and autumn are the two seasons that stand out. In spring, you can admire the beautiful redbuds and blossom trees that attract attention along the road. And in autumn, the beautiful colors of the foliage are painting the landscapes offering an astonishing view.
In winter, the weather is getting a little bit colder. You can not admire the greenery, but you can see the rock better without the leaves. In summer, the weather is good, only that it is a little bit crowded.
How much does it cost?
The tour with the electric cart it costs:
- Adults $30
- Children (Ages 4-11) $15
- Children 3 and Under – Free
There is an insurance fee for 8$, but most of the visitors’ said that is not worth it. In addition to the views and stunning landscapes, you can pay an extra 5$ for the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum.
The guided tour payment information is only available in a package, and it contains both the Lost Canyon Cave & Nature Trail and the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum:
- Adults $38
- Children (Ages 4-11) $18
- Children 3 and Under – Free
The visiting program is from 8:00 AM – 45 minutes before sunset, for Spring, Summer, and Autumn. For the winters’ months, check the program here: December, January & February.
What will you see during the trip?
The trip consists of a 2 and a half-mile nature trail as you explore the Top of the Rock Lost Canyon. Your journey will begin at the Top of the Rock Welcome Center. Here you can take either the guided tour or the electric golf-carts.
As you start, you will be driving on a paved road throughout nature. You can see the breathtaking views from the cart, but there are also opportunities to park it and get out and take beautiful photos together with your companions. Alongside the trip, you will see stunning rock formations and waterfalls. You will pass over some covered Amish bridges, and enjoy beautiful views of the Table Rock Lake. As you get closer to the Canyon Cave, you will see the Bat Bar from where you can buy sodas, beers, or cocktails.
Passing through the Canyon Cave, you will admire the astonishing waterfall. Unfortunately, here you don’t have space where to stop your cart and explore in detail the cave. As you go out of the cave, you will see more gorgeous views of the Ozark mountains until the end.
This tour lasts approximately 40-50 minutes. But you can do it in 25-30 minutes or take a whole hour and enjoy stopping along the way and admire the beautiful views.
Top of the Rock site offers a great way to spend your time with your family and friends. It is a perfect location for company meetings or employee retreats as well. It offers accommodations, various restaurants, golf courses, and spa centers. But the most popular activities at the Top of the Rock are the ones outdoor through which you can explore and admire the beautiful Ozark Mountains.
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