In the sixth episode of Discover Austin, we head underground to explore the Inner Space Cavern. The cave offers tours to all levels of explorers, from the beginner Adventure Tour to the extreme Wild Cave Tour where a guide takes you to undeveloped portions of the cave. New episodes are available each week. Over the course of the series, we’ll cover everything from landmarks and events to restaurants and icons. If you’d prefer to read about Inner Space Cavern, the script is below the video.
Greetings, I’m Craig Smyser. We’re going underground for this episode of Discover Austin, as we visit Inner Space Cavern in the suburb of Georgetown.
There are a lot of caves in central Texas, and a very large one runs under Inerstate 35, but years ago, the Texas Highway Department had no idea that it was here. The cave was discovered in 1963, as testing was being completed to ensure the location could sustain the building of an overpass for I-35. Geologist James W. Sansom warned that they may find voids because of the relative location to the Balcones Fault Zone, and he was right.
“Well, it’s no secret that we have a lot of caves in the area but they just kept hitting it, kept hitting it, kept hitting it. So they took the one in the middle and widened it to two feet wide and then they sent one of the guys down and he was the first person to ever set foot in Inner Space Cavern.”
Engineers found that there was 33.5 feet of solid rock between the surface of the ground and the ceiling of the cave. This was determined to be sufficient for the overpass supports, the road project was completed as planned. Spelunkers then set about to explore the cave and determine the extent of what would become Inner Space Cavern. They discovered beautiful cathedral rooms that you can now explore on their tours. They also discovered something unique that was not found in other caves in the central Texas area.
“One thing about our cave that’s different from any other cave in the area is that we found a lot of ice age animal remains in the cave which is really cool, there’s mammoth, saber toothed cat, peccary, all different types, there’s 42 different species of animals found in the cave.”
Opened to the public in 1966, visitors can tour the cave year-round. With an average temperature of 72 degrees, the cave can provide relief from the scorching summer heat or the mildly cold winter. Whether you’d like an extreme adventure or just a casual stroll, Inner Space Cavern has a tour made just for you. Thanks for reading this episode of Discover Austin.