DeSoto Caverns: Alabama’s Grand Cave

Alabama’s DeSoto Caverns—which is located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains—has served as a sacred burial ground for an ancient group of Native Americans, a vital gunpowder mining location for Confederate soldiers, and a rowdy speakeasy during the Prohibition era. DeSoto Caverns features towering walls of marble and onyx which have attracted visitors and explorers for centuries. In recent years, DeSoto Caverns has offered family-friendly attractions such as a giant maze, magic shows, and the opportunity to hunt for semi-precious gemstones such as pyrite.

In addition to featuring breathtaking pillars of onyx, DeSoto Caverns has a fascinating history. In the mid-1960s, bone fragments from a 7-foot-tall man who is estimated to have been buried in the caverns over 2,000 years ago were unearthed. In the mid-1800s, Confederate soldiers descended upon DeSoto Caverns to mine saltpeter, which was used to make gunpowder. In the 1920s, DeSoto Caverns served as a raucous speakeasy that was the scene of frequent midnight brawls that often ended in bloodshed. Rough-and-tumble DeSoto Caverns even earned the moniker “the Bloody Bucket.”

The sheer beauty of DeSoto Caverns ever-evolving stalactites and stalagmites never fails to wow visitors. The current owners of the caverns offer a light and water show which features neon lights, lasers, and alternating fountains which showcase the natural beauty of the cave. One look at the interior of DeSoto Caverns will help you understand why one of George Washington’s right-hand men raved about the beauty of the cave in the 1700s. Desoto Caverns may be home to plenty of modern amenities and amusements but the stunning beauty of the cave will always be the main attraction. The main cavern—-which is adorned with layers of cascading, bulbous rock formations—is nearly 100 feet tall. It makes perfect sense that such a grand cave has witnessed so much vivid history.

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