MO Lantern Tours, Float Trips, Boat Rides

Scenic 30 minute Meramec River tours will cool you down on a hot summers day. photo : Jeff Hobson.The Meramec Caverns are named for the Meramec River. Together they showcase some of the states most beautiful natural resources.

There is more to Meramec Cavens than the treasures found under ground.

Riverboat Rides – Enjoy a relaxing history-filled, half-hour long excursion on the Meramec River aboard a canopy-topped riverboat. Cavern Queen I and Cavern Queen II can each hold 25 passengers. Boats run April through September, dependent upon weather and river conditions. Group rates are available. Rates: $8.00 Adults, $5.00 Children 5-11.

Canoe Float Trips – Experience the best of Missouri’s natural resources.Take a six or eleven mile float on the scenic Meramec River. A shuttle bus will take you up river and you can float back to your car, here at the caverns. Reservations are required, please call 1-573-468-6463. Canoes and rafts are only available when weather permits.

Rates: Canoes Sunday – Friday $37 per canoe Saturday $42 per canoe (and Holiday weekends) Rafts also available. For more information call 573-468-6463 or go to

Don't be surprised to see Jessee James on the Lantern Tour. photo pbh

Meramec Caverns Lantern Tours – on Fridays & Saturdays in June bring the cave’s history to life. By the light of hand-held lanterns, visitors embark on a guide-led journey of the caverns meeting a variety of historical characters along the way.

Characters such as an Osage Indian, a Civil War soldier, and the infamous Jesse James share tales of folklore, stories of courage and adventure, as well as details on the rich history of the caverns. The tour takes about 80 minutes. Reservations are a must. Rates: Adults $24.00 Children 5-11 $12.00 Available every Friday & Saturdays in June 2012.

Regular Meramec Cavern tour times vary by month: May-June: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; July-Labor Day: 8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; November-February: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; March and October: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; April and September: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Trip Tip: Bring a sweater. The temperature of the cave is a constant 58 degrees.

Little Miners Pan for Gold
While parents shop at the Mine Store for beautiful rock gifts or at Granny’s Candy Store for homemade fudge, children can pan for fool’s gold, fossils, and other gemstones in a 19th century setting. The Meramec Mining Company and Granny’s is open during the summer months only.

Cost: Small bag of mine rough $6.99 Large bag of mine rough $9.99 Arrowhead mine rough $6.99 Emerald mine rough $9.99

The Restaurant offers home style cooking, a snack bar, and 28 flavors of ice cream. A Gift Shop is filled with old Route 66 souvenirs and some very nice gifts for the entire family.

The Details: Meramec Caverns is about an hour and ten minutes drive from St Louis. Take Exit 230 off of I-44 at Stanton, then about two miles.

Meramec Caverns, P.O. Box 948, Stanton, MO 63079, Web Site, Phone: 573-468-3166, Email:

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Exploring Missouri’s Meramec Caverns
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Cave tours and zipline discount coupons are available at .

Latitude: 38° 14′ 54″
Longitude: -91° 5′ 19″

For up-to-date information about St. Louis, call the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission at 1-800-916-0040.

The original bill board was a painted barn advertising Meramec Caverns. photo by Terry Randall





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