Discover the Thrill of Cave Kayaking at Crystal City Underground in Missouri!

Imagine gliding through a vast 150-acre underground lake, where the only light comes from your headlamp and the eerie glow of your guide’s kayak. 

Welcome to Crystal City Underground in Missouri, where adventure awaits beneath the earth’s surface. 

Credit: Instagram: @_.alaina.volley.soft.queen._

This hidden gem offers a kayaking experience like no other. Ready to add something unforgettable to your summer bucket list? 

Let’s dive into why kayaking these mystical waters is a must when you’re in Missouri.

For those who would prefer something above ground but just as magical, be sure to check out another Missouri gem in the stunning Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park.

Unveiling the Crystal City Underground Cave

Credit: Flaviu Leordeanu

Location and Getting There

Nestled less than an hour south of St. Louis, the Crystal City Underground Cave offers a surreal escape into the depths of an ancient world. 

To reach this adventure haven, head to 61/67 and Bailey Road in Crystal City. 

From there, follow the signs leading you through a unique path involving a tressle bridge, a tunnel, and a gravel road that heralds your arrival at an adventure unlike any other.

Credit: Instagram: @coffee_and_wandering

The Journey Begins

Upon arrival, your first steps will be to sign a waiver and gear up. 

Marsan Kayak and Canoe provides all necessary equipment: kayaks, paddles, life jackets, headlamps, and even gloves for a safe and enjoyable journey. 

You can’t bring your own kayak, ensuring that all equipment is tailored for the unique environment of the underground lake.

Why Kayak in Crystal City Underground?

Unique Exploration

Due to recent flooding, the only way to explore the vast expanse of the Crystal City Underground is by kayak. 

This unique mode of exploration allows you to access secluded areas of the cave, providing an intimate connection with this spectacular natural wonder.

Credit: Instagram: @_.alaina.volley.soft.queen._

Year-Round Adventure

Marsan Kayak and Canoe Tours operate all year, offering a constant opportunity for adventure. 

The cave’s constant cool temperature makes it an ideal escape from summer heat or a winter retreat.

The Marsan Experience

Under the guidance of Don Marsan, a retired firefighter and EMS, your safety and enjoyment are paramount. 

His in-depth knowledge and humorous anecdotes enrich the experience, making it educational as well as fun.

What to Expect on the Tour

The Setting Off

After a brief safety talk, you’ll launch into the chilly waters of the underground lake that runs through an old sandstone mine.

Remember, the water is around 47 degrees and the air is quite cool in the cave as well.

Dress appropriately in long sleeves and pants to keep warm, especially since the cave can be significantly colder than the outside world.

Highlights of the Tour

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As you paddle through the cave, your guide will highlight features like high water marks and unique geological formations. 

The presence of fish like Asian carp and gar adds an element of surprise beneath your kayak.

The tour includes a thrilling moment at the “Squeeze Box,” where you must lay flat in your kayak and use your hands to navigate through a tight space. 

It’s moments like these that make the tour unforgettable!

Sunlight and Wildlife

One of the tour’s magical spots is a vertical ventilation shaft where sunlight filters through, revealing clear waters and vibrant aquatic life below. 

Credit: Instagram: @handerson768

It’s a breathtaking scene that feels like a direct connection between the underground world and the surface.

Booking Your Adventure

How to Book

To embark on this unique kayaking journey, you must book directly with Marsan Kayak & Canoe Tours. 

Call Don Marsan at 636-208-5026 to schedule your tour. Keep in mind, Marsan Kayaks is popular, so you may need to leave a message, but they are diligent about returning calls.

Tour Costs and Times

Tours are available Wednesday through Sunday, with varying times to accommodate different schedules. 

The cost per person is currently $45, but it’s wise to confirm current rates when booking as they can change.

Final Note

Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind underground kayaking experience at Crystal City Underground Cave—a journey that promises not just adventure but a new perspective on nature’s hidden marvels.

Whether you’re an avid kayaker or a curious adventurer, the mystical, serene, and cool environment of Crystal City Underground will leave you awe-struck. 

So why wait? Dive into the depths of one of Missouri’s best-kept secrets and make memories that will last a lifetime!