Hannibal, Missouri: Mark Twain CaveHuck Finn hid here, as does the population of Hannibal if they happen to be nearby when a tornado passes through.
Visitor Tips and News About Mark Twain Cave
There is now a very nice campground at the Mark Twain Cave. In the event of a tornado, campers are evacuated into the Mark Twain Cave. During our stay, the sirens began sounding in the middle of the night. We were all taken into the cave to wait out the storm. It was a unique experience, and very exciting for the kids. We would highly recommend the Cave tour as well as the campground.[Gary Epperson, 08/25/2011]
Cameron Cave is billed as the "newest Show Cave" (guided tours since 1978) and it shares the same grounds as Mark Twain Cave. It is fun because the visitors are issued LED flood light lanterns to light their own way, and it works very well. There are no handrails, but the going is not all that tough. You do have to be able to make two steps under a 4-ft. overhang, and there are some small inclines -- but no big deal. The hardest part might well be the climb up the hill from the office to the entrance.
The tour is fairly long at 1:20, and it's very narrow, so it's hard to hear much of what the guide is saying. He has a flashlight to point things out. Your LED Lanterns will light the area well, but we let others carry those and brought good flashlights for deeper peeks. There are any number of actively growing formations -- one of which, unfortunately, is in your path, necessitating the touching of it to make it by. This is one of the few such cave experiences available to the general public.[Doc Adelman, 08/24/2009]
This is a great cave. I remember going here as a kid on family vacation. I returned to take my now-fiance there. There's a great story on the tour relating to Huck Finn. It's also cool that there's so many signatures inside from so long ago. We found this one with a cool last name.[Steve Cook, 02/24/2007]
I believe the reference in your MO Tips page to a cave in Hannibal that contains Civil Defense supplies may be a reference to Mark Twain Cave. When I visited as a child in the 1960s I remember being shown large metal Civil Defense drums in the cave that we were told were full of drinking water. There was also a fallout shelter sign present.[Steve Phipps, 08/02/1998]
Photo added Sept. 2009
The cave that the book series "Huck Finn" is centered upon is open to the public for tours. There is one branch of the cave system that is known as the "Civil Defense Cave." When I toured the cave in 1985, they had just been surveyed by FEMA for shelter purposes. I was told by the guide that there were still bomb shelter supplies stored there. I can only assume that these supplies were of the biscuit and sanitary nature.[ESPete, 10/19/1997]
Here's text from one of our favorite CD-era cave brochures.
Nearby Offbeat Places
- Mark Twain, Riverboat Pilot, Hannibal, MO - 2 mi.
- Tom Sawyer's Fence, Hannibal, MO - 2 mi.
- Large Mug of Root Beer, Hannibal, MO - 2 mi.
- In the region: Museum of Funeral Customs Exhibits - Lincoln Casket, Carthage, IL - 51 mi.