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Boat tour exiting Spook Cave.

Spook Cave: Underground Boat Tour

Field review by the editors.

McGregor, Iowa

At one time, advertising a commercial cave with a hollow-eyed sheet ghost on billboards was promotional genius. And it still works. We allow ourselves to be sucked in, and discover that Spook Cave is one that must be toured entirely by boat. We appreciate this extreme lack of physical effort, and it's a good way to escape the heat.

Spook Cave opened to the public on Labor Day 1955. The tour still uses its original aluminum boats and some of its original gags, such as a rubber alligator with glowing eyes and the "bones" of Old Joe Smiley, who, we were told, entered Spook Cave to change light bulbs and never returned. Spook Cave is a single passage, and the tour has a wild feel to it even though our guide admits that it has been improved with occasional applications of dynamite. When she cautions us about low ceilings, she means it. At several points our boatload has to bend in half, placing their heads between their knees, and even with that we are barely able to slip beneath the overhanging rock.

When you visit, hope that the water level doesn't rise while you're inside, and pay attention -- you don't want to remember Spook Cave as the place where you lost a piece of your scalp.

Spook Cave: Underground Boat Tour

Spook Cave

13299 Spook Cave Rd, McGregor, IA
From Marquette on the Wisconsin/Iowa boarder: Drive west on US Hwy 18 for 7.5 miles, then turn north on Spook Cave Rd for another two miles. (If you reach the junction of US Hwy 52 on US Hwy 18 you've driven too far west.)
May-Oct. 9-5:30 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $12.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Pinky the ElephantPinky the Elephant, Marquette, IA - 7 mi.
Carved Sturgeon Photo OpportunityCarved Sturgeon Photo Opportunity, Prairie du Chien, WI - 8 mi.
Towboat L. Wade ChildressTowboat L. Wade Childress, Prairie du Chien, WI - 9 mi.
In the region:
Lead Mine Tour, Rollo Jamison Museum, Platteville, WI - 47 mi.

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