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Crystal Lake Cave - A Spectacular Natural Wonder
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Crystal Lake Cave - A Spectacular Natural Wonder

Just five minutes south of Dubuque on Highway 52 (The Great River Road) you’ll find the spectacular geological wonder, Crystal Lake Cave.  This stunning natural formation makes a great location for a family day out, whatever the weather.


The cave was discovered in 1868 by miners searching for lead.  Only a small quantity of lead was actually found, along with a selection of gemstones and minerals some of which are for sale in the site’s gift shop.  In 1932, one of the original miners, Bernard Markus, opened the cave for public viewing and christened the site, Crystal Lake Cave.  The natural wonder boasts the title of the longest ‘living’ show cavern in Iowa.

Crystal Lake Cave

The cave is still ‘living’.  This means that the geological structures within it are still forming due to the natural processes of water erosion and mineral deposits.  You can see nature at work by taking a tour of the cave conducted by a knowledgeable and competent guide.  Tours last for about 45 minutes and it’s recommended that you wear something warm as the temperature inside the Crystal Lake Cave is a constant 52 degrees all year round.

Tours run daily and groups can be catered for if required. 

Opening times

The cave is open from May 1st right through until the end of October. 

Opening hours are weekends only in May until Memorial Day, 9am until 5pm.  From Memorial Day through until the end of August, the cave is open daily from 9am until 6pm.  Hours vary for September and October so check the website for full details.

The last tour each day leaves one hour before the cave closes.

Admission charges are: $14 for adults, $7 for children under 11 and under 4s go free.  Concessions are available for seniors and groups.

Please call the site on 563-556-6451 for further information.


Image sourceFlickr Creative Commons


Leave a Comment

  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    Thank you for a very cool post! We pinned it on PInterest
    Log in to reply.
    1. alison page
      alison page
      My pleasure! Thank you!
      Log in to reply.


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