With the objective of getting to San Antonio, we looked at the map and found that Sonora, TX, was more or less mid-way from Fort Stockton. And, as luck would have it, Sonora is home to the Caverns of Sonora. Are you sensing a theme here? So far on this trip we have visited Kartchner Caverns and Carlsbad Caverns.
The Caverns of Sonora is privately owned where Kartchner Caverns is an Arizona state park and Carlsbad Caverns is a National Park. With only about 3 miles of developed passages, the Caverns of Sonora is not the biggest or deepest cave system, it is impressive nonetheless.
In any limestone cave you want to see the formations or speleothems that have been developed by the dripping water carrying calcite. Stalactites, stalagmites, columns, helictites, soda straws, flowstone, draperies, popcorn, dogtooth spar, moonmilk, popcorn and coral can all be found in the Caverns of Sonora. The most impressive thing about this cave is that there are extensive passages that not only have a variety of formations, they are blanketed with them. Every surface, ceiling, walls and the floor are a continuous series of formations.
The caves were originally discovered by the Mayfield family in the early 1920’s when they crawled through a 20 inch opening found on their ranch which led about 500 feet underground to a pit about 50 feet deep. Interesting but nothing special. It wasn’t until 1955 when some cave explorers found a way beyond the pit to discover areas with beautiful formations. The cave was opened to the public in 1960 and has been well preserved since then.
Next stop: San Antonio, TX