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Bridal Cave and Thunder Mountain Park

526 Bridal Cave Road

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Centuries before the paleface found his way into the Ozark Mountains, this vicinity was inhabited by the Osage Native American Indians. Within the Osage tribe many smaller tribes were formed. The following incident is a legend which brought romance and tragedy to this section of the Ozarks and gave the names to many places as they are known today.

Conwee, son of Chief Neongo of the Big Hills (a tribe of the Osage group, which lived on the north shore of what is now known as Ha Ha Tonka State Park), fell in love with Wasena, daughter of Elkhorn, Chief of the Little Hills, who lived on the north side of the Osage River near the junction of the Niangua, and greatly desired that she become his wife. Neither Wasena nor her father looked with favor on his intentions, Conwee however was not to be discouraged. He left his camp at Ha Ha Tonka one dark night with a number of his braves, crossed the Osage River near the junction of the Niangua and kidnapped Wasena and her companion, Irona. Hastily, recrossing the Osage River, Conwee started back to Ha Ha Tonka. As dawn approached and threatened to reveal them to their pursuers, they decided to stop at the cave, now known as Bridal Cave, and conceal their captives. After a short time in the cave, Wasena eluded her captors and ran swiftly toward a high cliff that towers two hundred feet above the Niangua River. When Conwee had her almost within his grasp. she reached the edge of the cliff and without even a backward glance sprang over the the brink into the valley below, choosing death rather than life with one she did not love. From that day forward this cliff has been known as "Lover's Leap".

The fate of Wasena's companion, Irona, was very different. She had long loved Prince Buffalo, another son of Chief Neongo of the Big Hills Tribe, and brother of Conwee. After a period of mourning over the death of Wasena was ended, Irona and her Prince Buffalo chose to be married in the cave where she and Wasena had been held captive in the beautiful stalactite - studded room now known as the Bridal Chapel, and gave the name "Bridal Cave" to the scene of the nuptials.


Allie Browning

Tuesday, July 10, 2018
This was an excellent tour! I was not interested in going because I had been to a cave previously and it was pretty lame. Not the case with this cave. Our tour guide, Anthony, was very engaging and entertaining. The structures and different rooms were cool. We got to see where the original path was, a natural bridge, a lake, and more. The caves are well lit and the paths are concrete. Be aware that there are a few tight squeezes and low ceilings as you move from room to room. The tour guide will briefly turn out all the lights at one point. I would recommend this tour to anyone!

Brian Potts

Sunday, July 29, 2018
This is a great tour to take any time during the year. The cave is filled with beautiful formations that took millions of years to form. Most people should be able to navigate the cave. There are a few steps and a couple of places where it goes down to only 4.5 feet high. You also have the lemon squeeze which is the skinniest area, but 99% of the population can easily get through.

Troy Layne

Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Awesome cave. We go to caves whenever we can and this one, inch for inch, has a very high concentration of beautiful formations. There's really no blank or boring spot in the cave, every step brings more incredible views. You could go a few times and still see new things each time.

Justin McKoon

Friday, June 15, 2018
Very cool. Tour was fun and informational. Our tour guide also conducts maintenance in the cave so he added a unique perspective on the cave and the spots that weren't visible on the tour. There is a lot of history in this place and is a great way to spend a couple of hours. I went with my 3 kids and they loved it!

Brent Cochran

Saturday, June 2, 2018
Decided to come here due to the Ozark Caverns being closed during the week. Had a little bit of a wait for the tour to start but wasn't disappointed. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and easy to ask questions of. Was a great experience for the whole family and would definitely suggest this cave to anyone wanting to see the caves in the area.

Bridal Cave and Thunder Mountain Park is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media