Crystal Onyx Cave

Useful Information

Location: At Cave City. I-65 exit 53 Cave City, 4 km east on Hwy 90, turn off to the right. Signposted.
Open: FEB to MAY daily 9-17.
JUN to 01-AUG daily 8-18.
02-AUG to DEC daily 9-17.
Fee: Adults USD 5.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=60 min.
Bibliography: Cleon Turner (1968): Discovery of the Crystal Onyx Cave and My Biography, 123pp.
Address: Crystal Onyx Cave, 8709 Happy Valley Road, Cave City, KY 42127, Tel. +1-502-773-2359 E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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23-JUN-1960 cave discovered by Cleon Turner.


Crystal Onyx Cave is located in Pruitt's Knob, one of several limestone plateaus in Kentucky, which were formed by rivers cutting deep in a huge limestone plateau. The most famous one is nearby Mammoth Cave Plateau. Prewitt's Knob is protected from erosion by a layer of resistant cap rock, and so it stands like an island in the farmland of the sinkhole plain. Lon times no cave was known in this mountain, but Cleon Turner was convinced there was a cave, so he searched for years. Finally in 1960 he discovered this cave by digging in a promising spot. He blased an entrance tunnel and opened the cave to the public.

Crystal Onyx Cave, as the name suggests, is famous for fine dripstone formations. Onyx is the local slang term for dripstone. The cave has stalagmites and stalagmites, rimstone dams and cave bacon.

The most important sight of the cave is a working archaeological excavation. The Indian burial site is dated at 680 B.C.. It is studied by researchers from Washington University.