Current COVID-19 protocol.
Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark is located in beautiful Dane County, Wisconsin.  Dane county currently has the following COVID-19 mandate in place [Dane County Mandate link].
 
Cave of the Mounds is dedicated to offering wonderful outdoor recreation, and has protocol in place to help protect our staff and guests. [Our Covid Policy].

 

To help protect our staff and guests, and to support our state and county department of public health departments, please be aware of the following when visiting COTM:
 
  • Dress for the current outdoor weather conditions as well as the 50° Cave and plan to enjoy our beautiful nature trails and outdoor activities while onsite. 
  • A limited number of Cave tickets per hour are issued in order to help maintain social distancing. You may have a wait time outdoors prior to your cave entry.
  • Cave entries are limited to one household at a time in accordance with Dane Counties mandate to allow for proper social distancing
  • Due to COVID-19, our building capacities are monitored and enforced for the safety of our staff and guests.
  • If there is a wait time for your cave experience and you do not wish to be outside, you may prefer to wait in your car.  Our parking lot is close by and all parking is free. 
  • Masks are required inside the buildings and inside the cave at all times with NO exceptions.  If you are unable to wear a mask due to health condition, we have these alternative options for you. [Our Covid Policy Link Here]
 
Please do not travel if you are sick, and please adhere to the advice that the CDC has issued including, but not limited to, frequently washing your hands, wearing a mask, and maintaining at least a 6 foot social distance from anyone not in your household.  We understand if the best choice for your family is to visit in the future instead, once the threat of the pandemic has lessened. With your assistance, Cave of the Mounds will be here for generations to come.  Open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM year-round. [Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, & Christmas Day.]
 
 We wish you happiness and great health through the holiday season!
 

Plan Your Visit

Ticket times are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Hours

We are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

Our tour entries depart frequently.

The last entry at 4 pm.

For your safety and to protect our fragile cave: Take Photos but no tripods, mono-pods, or selfie sticks. Do not touch the cave. Please leave backpacks in vehicle because nothing is allowed on your back inside the cave. No strollers or framed carriers. The cave is cool. Dress appropriately as the cave is 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius in the cave. No smoking or vaping in the cave. No food, drink, or gum allowed. Only bottled water in the cave.

What is a
Self-Paced Tour?

Take a self-paced stroll through this geologic wonder. Entries enter  regularly every day of the year. Your walk will guide you past a stunning array of colorful crystal formations on paved lighted walkways. Cave of the Mounds is the premier cave in the upper Midwest and the jewel box of America’s major show caves.

Stay & Play

  • Discover Treasure at the Gemstone Mine
  • Explore our Rock & Fossil Gift Shop
  • Crack open a Geode
  • Get certified as an Adventure Ranger
  • Walk along our Geologic Timeline
  • Find fossils at our Barn Fossil Hunt
  • Hike the Interpretive Nature Trails
  • Observe the Rock & Perennial Gardens
Photo of a girl pointing at the wonders along our nature trails.

PARKING is FREE!

Handicap parking is available at the bottom of the service drive.

Accessibility

The Cave is not wheelchair, walker or stroller accessible, however, most above ground activities are.

FREE WIFI available

Guest WiFi is available above ground near the Visitor Center and Gift Shop.

PHOTOGRAPHY is welcome!

Professional/staged photography requires a purchased photo permit.

PET Policy

Pets are NOT allowed on the grounds. However, we do have free dog kennels available seasonally.

PREPARING FOR VISIT

Cave of the Mounds does not allow food or beverages – other than plain water – inside the underground passageways.

Sugars and nutrients in food and beverage that drop or spill in the cave can cause mold and other undesirable substances to grow, and of course there are the wrappers and containers to deal with. Litter can be a big problem in show caves when gum, candy, food or beverage is allowed, so we ask that our guests refrain from eating or drinking besides bottled water while inside the cave.

We do have picnic areas with trash and recycle receptacles, and some have shelters available to use.

Large bags and backpacks of all kinds are discouraged.

Our cave length  does not require the need for personal supplies or food. The passageways of our cave have some areas that are more fragile than others. Backpacks and large bags can rub against the cave walls and physically damage the cave environment.

If you are bringing a baby, we ask that soft sided, front facing baby carriers are used, not hard framed baby carriers or the one’s that go on the back.

Additionally, strollers do not fit on narrow cave passageways. Plus we have a fair amount of stairs.

Caves are highly visual experiences and we allow guests to take photos during their underground experience with flash.

Tripods and selfie sticks are not allowed due to the closer quarters underground and therefore a greater risk for damage to the cave.

Inside the cave, we recommend you put your phone on airplane mode to save battery.

Our cave is a great family experience that can go a long way to expose children to the wonders of nature while inspiring new environmental stewards.

We do not allow the touching of any rocks or formations in the cave in order to protect the fragile nature of these environments. Additionally, since it is underground, they are naturally devoid of light. While we have an elaborate lighting installed, sometimes it is helpful for families to bring a small flashlight for their children to hold along the tour route.

“Children who have their own source of light are more likely to discover things they might not otherwise notice, and, it gives them more control over their experience,” offers Cave of the Mounds Operations Manager Jan Okeson.

As in any unfamiliar environment, we ask parents to be responsible and extra aware of their child’s behavior and whereabouts while in the cave.

Our cave is a subterranean environment that maintains the annual average temperature of the above ground region that we are located in. Our cave, which is located in Wisconsin, has an average temperature underground of 50 degrees.

We recommend  a light jacket. Our cave feels cool in the summer and balmy in the winter. Closed-toe shoes, such as tennis shoes, are also recommended, because the cave environment is damp and cool.

Safety Measures. Keeping Social Distance of 6 feet. Disinfecting Surfaces Frequently. Hand Sanitizing Stations installed. Wearing a mask is required. Limiting Group Sizes.
Photo of one of our guides wearing a mask

Getting Here

2975 Cave of the Mounds Road

Blue Mounds, WI 53517-0148

Available Daily​

  • Quarry’s Edge Gift Shop and Mining Sluice – Rocks, minerals and fossils from all over the world delight geology lover’s of all ages! Hand pick your favorites or uncover your own collection at the sluice! Indoor sluice available seasonally.
  • Barn Fossil Hunt – Enjoy some fresh air and take the short walk up the trail to our Barn Fossil Hunt. Learn about the fossils commonly found in southwest Wisconsin. Then, search the limestone foundation of our historic barn which is filled with dozens of authentic Wisconsin fossils!
  • Trails – Discover the grounds around the mound! Grab an Interpretive Trail Guide and Geologic Time booklet and learn all about caves, sinkholes and how Wisconsin has changed through geologic time. Please dress for the weather to explore these nature trails.

What's Happening!

  • Monthly Educational Add on: For an additional $2 you can enhance your visit with the educational theme of the month (link to events month by month) and then as you tour the cave you will learn more about that theme, and get a natural souvenir to take home. Themes include Crystals, Rocks, Minerals, Fossils, Gems, Geodes, and more! Become a Keys to the Cave member and come every month so you learn about them all!

Learn more about Cave of the Mounds