Mainstream Adventures

When You Constantly Push Your Limits You Will Never Reach Them

Crystal Lake Cave

The beautiful rock formations found inside Crystal Lake Cave are literally two million years in the making. The cave system has been described as an underground labyrinth of wondrous mineral formations.With every step you take through the cave you will see a wide range of pristine stalagmites, helictites, and rare anthodites. Crystal Lake Cave offers two amazing tours, through this underground wonderland. The first tour is the general tour, which is a 45 minute guided tour, on flat paved walk ways. This tour takes you past some amazing formations, including; the Swiss Cottage Roof, the Lop-Eared Dog, The Cliff Dwellers, and the gorgeous Lost Gardens! The tour is well lit, and is ran by friendly, expert guides.The second tour is called the Wild Tour, and for good reason. This tour is a spelunkers delight. Brave thrill seekers, are guided through unexcavated and narrow passageways. You will see sections of the cave that very few have seen before. This tour is done mostly on your hands and knees, so knee pads are needed and a hard hat must be worn. The tour lasts an hour and a half and is perfect for the more adventurous members of your group.The Crystal Lake Caves gift shop is packed with all kinds of mineral-related keepsakes, and the kids will love the Mining Sluice, where they can uncover precious gemstones, fossils, and other hidden treasures using water and a sifter.

With two different tours to choose from, and a beautiful sheltered picnic area, Crystal Lake Cave is the perfect destination for your next family Adventure! The cave opens in May and closes again in mid October.We recommend calling and checking hours before planning a trip.

Phone number

563 556- 6451



6684 Crystal Lake Cave Rd

Dubuque, IA 52003



  1. Badass!!!

  2. What a beautiful cave!

  3. This place looks beautiful

  4. This cave is so beautiful, we will be planning a visit this summer. Never knew a cave like this was so close to Chicago. My kids will love this!!

  5. This cave looks so beautiful! Love your website too, many of these locations are only a day trip from Chicago thanks for posting this story we will be visiting soon.

    • Thanks for reading Val, I just returned home from the cave again this weekend. Took our youth group for a tour. As many times as I have been there I still see something new every time.

  6. What a beautiful cave, we can’t wait to visit.

  7. Can’t wait to bring my daughter here!

  8. This place is beautiful!

  9. Never knew such a beautiful cave existed, this close to Chicago.

  10. Wow! Beautiful pictures, we will be visiting this weekend. Thank you for the information our kids are very excited.

  11. Visited the cave today and had a wonderful time! Love you website too, can’t wait to see where you send us next.

    • I was there all day today. I may have even been your tour guide. Thanks for coming and glad you had a good time. Also thank you for following my page. Im working real hard to make it the best Adventure website in the Midwest.

  12. Thanks for writing this story we would of never known this cave existed my family had a great time the tour guide did an amazing job beautiful cave lots of good items in the gift shop thank you

  13. This cave is so beautiful, cant wait to visit!!

  14. Thanks for telling us about this place, the kids loved the cave tour and we even bought some rocks and panned for gemstones. The tour guide did a great job we will have to visit some of your other locations next weekend.

  15. We are coming to Iowa this weekend to visit all the caves maquoketa caves the spook cave and of course crystal lake cave. Our son is very excited and has been looking at all your pictures. Thanks for helping us plan our family getaway!

  16. Wow! Beautiful pictures gonna stop by for a vist when I pass through Iowa

  17. We had a great time visiting the cave today, thanks for the info. The kids want to visit more caves now. Thank you!

  18. We enjoyed our visit to the cave this weekend the guide had a lot of information we may return and do the wild tour at some point to thanks for this article my family enjoys this page

  19. Planning our trip here August 5th! #Excited

  20. We recently visited the cave, it was smaller then we had visioned, but it was beautiful! The tour guide was great, and I even bought some jewelry from the gift shop. We had such a fun time. Thank you for the information, we love your website and check it every weekend to see what fun adventure you will send us to next.

  21. Absolutely beautiful cave thank you for sharing this, we had a wonderful time!

  22. We decided to stop by on our way back to Chicago, its a little off the beaten path, but well worth the trip. My kids are already wanting to return. Nice article!

  23. We had such a great time on the tour, the picnic area was a little dirty though, over it was a good experience.

  24. Wow, this place is beautiful can’t wait to visit.

  25. This was the highlight of our trip to Iowa. Thanks for posting this.

  26. I had visited when I was a child, and had completly forgotten about the cave. Thank you for the article it was like a blast from the past currently planning to visit with my grand kids. Thank you.

  27. We had a wonderful time, cool history on the cave and the gift shop was nice too, thanks for sharing!

  28. Can’t believe they charged me to get inside, your article never mentioned any fee. This was bogus, we drove an hour to get there just to get charged an entry fee. the cave is beautiful but come on, it should be free.

    • It’s a business and they have a ton of overhead, if they did not charge, the cave would not be open. Sorry for the confusion, did not mean to mislead anyone with my article.

  29. Planning our visit this weekend, can’t wait!

  30. This cave is much smaller then the pictures show, still a beautiful cave though

  31. We really enjoyed our visit, and we even panned for gemstones. Thanks for sharing this cave with our family.

  32. Love visiting this cave, one of my favorites!

  33. We are planning a visit to Galena next month, guess we will have to hope across the bridge into Dubuque and visit the cave. We love this site and all the adventures you write about.

  34. Visited this and spook cave this year, both where cool caves but crystal lake cave is amazing. cool post

  35. Beautiful cave. nice article!

  36. Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! I love that you feature Midwest locations/adventures. We are going to the cave next weekend, and plan to visit some of the other Iowa locations before summer is over. Looking forward to visiting all the locations you write about.

  37. Took the kids last weekend, had a great time!

  38. Really enjoyed our visit, had no idea caves like this existed. Thanks

  39. I used to work here during H.S. great family owned business and cool show cave.

  40. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit, thanks for the information!

  41. Please explain to me why these caves think its okay to charge admission. Do us a favor and lose the tour guide and the fee, and this place would be a whole lot better. Don’t get me wrong the cave was beautiful, but its part of nature and nature should always be free.

  42. We are visiting tomorrow and I can’t wait

  43. Very informative piece you got here! Sharing this page on my news feed. Love this site, wish I had more time to visit some of these places.

  44. Do you work at the cave? We want to hire a guide to take us through.

  45. We want to visit next weekend, do you know of any camping locations nearby?

  46. Hoping to visit later this month.

  47. Pretty cool webpage, love that its all close to home. Visited the cave yesterday on our way to davenport. We had a nice time, the tour guide seemed new but the cave looked great.

  48. I don’t usually comment on these sort of things, but after reading that guy complaining about the price of admission I have to say something. First off you have to pay admission, because its a business. Do you understand how a business works? I’m sure the cave has a lot of over head, guides, electricity, advertising, staff. Do you think all of this comes free? I for one am glad to give my money to a place like this. This is small business, they create jobs, and provide a fun family experience. Look around at the wild caves in Iowa, none of them have crystals like this. That’s because they have a staff to make sure no one breaks and takes them home. Quit complaining on someones blog about a small business trying to earn a buck. For anyone reading this, the cave is well worth the price of admission. Sorry for the long rant.

  49. We took a visit on sunday I think you are our guide beautiful and fun cave tour. Thank you for telling me about your blog i will be sharing mine very soon i have great pictures to share with you and everyone. Very good blog post coming soon.

  50. Beautiful cave and very good article too.

  51. We really enjoyed meeting you and touring the cave, thank you for this great website!!

  52. We had a fun tour and took several beautiful pictures. Thanks for the recommendation.

  53. We took our cave tour and had a good time, but it left me wanting more. Along our tour we came across several passageways that have not been explored. Is it possible I could plan a visit in full spelunking gear, and explore these sections of the cave. I would even help map them out for you.

    • Hi Raul

      Thank you for reading and thank you for visiting the cave. Crystal Lake Cave offers a wild cave tour, through the passages that you are talking about. They require a reservation to book this tour, you can make that be calling the cave office. If you are looking for something beyond that, then you will need to call the cave and talk to Julie.

  54. I will have to make plans to visit! Well written.

  55. По заказу клиента мы нашли автомобиль который его интересовал
    По заказу клиента мы нашли автомобиль который его интересовал по запросу продать тойоту рав4, продать тойоту рав 4, продать тойоту рав4 киев . Договорившись о встрече с продавцом мы с клиентом приехали на осмотр автомобиля . После небольшого технического осмотра, стало понятно , что автомобиль находится в надлежащем техническом состоянии, за исключением нескольких царапин на кузове и небольших потертостей салона которые с легкостью можно было устранить.Указав на эти недостатки, продавец опустил цену на их устранение, и окончательная цена устроила нашего клиента. В итоге мы купили у клиента новую модель рав 4 (Истрия описана тут) ,и помогли подобрать необходимое транспортное средство которое хотел клиент, в итоге он остался с автомобилем и необходимыми средствами для бизнеса и все остались довольны

  56. American Outdoors

    August 16, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Love your website design, Fantastic work! Love the idea for all the adventures. I imagine this sort of list is very helpful for people looking for a little excitement. I enjoy following you’re page and look forward to seeing more great locations very soon.

  57. Very well written article! We enjoy the work you’re doing on this webpage.

  58. I really like what you guys are up too. Visited this cave many times, its always cool inside. Haha! JK!

  59. Beautiful Cave and a well written article. Thanks

  60. Enjoyed the tour, the guide was young but she did a nice job.

  61. I need to visit, looks fun

  62. National Cave Association

    August 21, 2017 at 9:12 am

    I have seen several of our members featured on this page. Love the attention being given to the show caves. Keep up the good work!

  63. Hey everyone! What a beautiful cave you have here. I enjoyed reading this article,and I look forward to taking a visit. I like the way you write about Midwest attractions of this nature. Very nice webpage here. I will visit more of these locations, my only regret is finding this site at the end of summer and not the beginning. But oh well I’m still young enough to visit every one of them.

  64. Hey Mark

    Great article here, maybe someday I will actually get to join you on one of your adventures. Until then I will enjoy reading about them here.

  65. We are planning to visit tomorrow on Labor Day! Really excited, thanks for the information.

  66. Hello my family enjoyed visit to this cave this place is very nice wife bought a rock in the store nice very nice. You to should visit.

  67. We had a great experience at the cave today! Thanks for the invite it was good seeing you again. The girls want you to take them on a wild tour nxt time.

  68. love fishing and camping and crystal lake cave

  69. Love Love Love beautiful underground masterpiece

  70. My favorite Iowa destination!

  71. Just beautiful! I need to visit this place.

  72. Beautiful cave my family enjoyed our tour very much.

  73. Beautiful cave, friendly staff, well worth the drive.

  74. We are coming to tour on Sunday can’t wait!!

  75. Love this cave been here once before i was married. Need to bring the kids this spring.

  76. Any spiders in the cave?

  77. We had a lovely visit, our tour guide had a lot of great info about the cave’s history, everyone was very friendly, they also have a nice gift shop with rocks from all over the place and a picnic area as well. Nice day trip with my family, we will be back.

  78. Oh wow this place is so beautiful, love it and planning to take the kids this spring. Great post!

  79. What a beautiful cave! Need to visit when they open.

  80. Is there an option to explore the cave without a guide like maquoketa caves? I would enjoy this much better.

  81. Spent the weekend in Galena with my wife and decided to take a drive to see the cave. 2 things really surprised me on our visit. The size of the cave was unbelievable much bigger then anything at the State parks. Second the cave has some beautiful formations inside. Never see these at Maquoketa Caves or any other wild caves in the area. Very impressive.

  82. Beautiful cave and friendly staff.

  83. we visited for our class reunion, had a great time.

  84. Jason The Cave Explorer

    January 9, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    When does this open for the year, planning a trip to Iowa and want to include the cave.

  85. В конце года подводятся итоге конкурса МЧС «Созвездие мужества», по итогам конкурса называют лучших пожарных, диспетчеров, водолазов и других работников служб спасения. Подробнее читайте на сайt.

  86. Interesting history in this article, I thought the only caves in iowa are the makoteka caves. Will have to plan a visit when they open back up.

  87. Never knew such Iowa had such beautiful caves! Thought it was all corn fields and rivers. Going to have to plan a road trip and check out some of these caves next spring.

  88. Кухни на заказ Нижний Новгород кухни Нижний Новгород

  89. Looks beautiful! I want to visit.

  90. Алкобарьер Отзывы Украина, капли от алкоголизма в еду, капли от алкоголизма украина, кодирование от алкоголизма минск отзывы, кодировка от алкоголя правда или ложь, купить алко барьер в минске, купить алко барьер в украине, купить алкобарьер, купить алкобарьер в аптеке, купить алкобарьер в минске
    Что Такое Алкобарьер, лекарство от алкоголя в казахстане, лекарство от пьянки, лекарство от пьянства, лучшее лекарство от запоя, лучшее средство от алкоголизма, малышева алкобарьер, малышева алкоголизм, малышева лечение алкоголизма, малышева об алкоголизме, народные средства от алкоголизма отзывы
    Алкобарьер в Минске, интернет магазин алкоголик, как заказать алкобарьер, как избавиться от алкоголизма отзывы, как применять алкобарьер, как принимать алкобарьер, как принимать алкобарьер в каплях, как принимать капли алкобарьер, капли алко барьер инструкция, капли алкобарьер

  91. This cave is so much fun!

  92. I used to live in the area. Been to the cave as a child but do not reme=mber much. Might have to stop on my way to Chicago this summer.

  93. Very good info, love your body of work. Always good to get youth up and out exploring.

  94. Came here last summer, I think you were are guide. Just wanted to tell you that you are gorgeous. My kids had a good time too. Hopefully you still work here cause we will be back in this year.

  95. This is a very nice smaller cave.

  96. Lovely, just lovely!

  97. We visited over the summer, the tour was great. The cool cave air was refreshing on the hot summer day.

  98. This cave sells the best maple syrup around!

  99. Marvelous!

  100. Midwest Travels

    January 28, 2018 at 4:36 am

    You make this cave sound amazing, we shared the article on our Facebook page. Nice work!

  101. Another cave tour! Summer bucket list

  102. Hi Mainstream! Any events coming up? Which side of the Quad Cities has the best Adventures? We would be interested in doing a piece on local adventures, this spring. You seem to be the local authority on the subject. If you are interested please contact our media office at 309-764-8888. Thanks

  103. You make this cave sound so beautiful, I guess that’s the point. Great article and beautiful pictures.

  104. very nice writing here you makde this place sound so lovely i will see what place you write about next.

  105. always enjoyed this cave a a child, wonder how much its changed.

  106. I need you to write an article for my campground. How do I make this happen?

  107. A well written article, loved the pictures as well. Need to plan a trip.

  108. Just what I was looking for.

  109. Very cool post here, love visiting show caves, had no idea one was so close. Need to visit when they open back up.

  110. What a beautiful cave and Julie and the girls are so wonderful.

  111. I need to check this out

  112. Wow you made this place sound to cool, never heard of it before, need to take a visit when they open

  113. Looks great! glad to see someone else with a passion for spelunking

  114. This is an excellent article. This site has lots of interesting places, i want to hire you to plan our vacations.

  115. Many thanks for sharing with us, I always learn about such cool places on this page.

  116. Just beautiful!

  117. you make this cave sound awesome I need to take the fam up there this summer!

  118. Beautiful cave!

  119. Hi I was wondering if there is lodging available here, camping or cabins or anything?

  120. This is one of the most beautiful caves in the midwest.

  121. I visited with my husband last fall, we had a great time. The cave is beautiful and the guide had a lot of interesting facts about the cave!

  122. Thank you for helping people find the information they need on all these great adventures. Good stuff as usual. Keep up the great work!!!

  123. We love this cave!

  124. So pretty.

  125. The hours listed on the caves website are extremely confusing, so i want to bring my family down this weekend from Chicago to tour the cave. Does anyone know if it will be open?

  126. We visit every year and love it!

  127. Valerie Norton

    May 18, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    We are visiting this weekend, can’t wait!

  128. Hi Mainstream, do you know if they have camping on location or nearby? Last question; do they offer any group rates? We have about 20 inner city kids and 6 adults we would like to bring by for a visit. Thank you

    • They do not have camping, but the mines of Spain is really close. Yes they offer a group discount, just not exactly sure what it is. You will have to call them and speak with Julie.

  129. Gorgeaous cave and fridndly staff. Only complaint i had was that gps took me down town into dubuque and its actually out in the country a bit.

  130. Many thanks for sharing with us, I always learn about lots of fun new locations on your page.

  131. I just went there yesterday and stopped at Mines of Spain afterwards! Really good adventure day!

  132. Beautiful! A masterpiece for sure!

  133. Laura and David

    May 22, 2018 at 4:42 am

    With Maquoketa closed i bet this place will be busy.

  134. wild tour sounds cool

  135. Many thanks for sharing, I always discover interesting things from this page.

  136. T read through this website and you have so many cool locations and places to visit. Good work!

  137. I enjoy everything you post. You’ve done great job

  138. This looks beautiful, and would be a fun way to cool down on a hot day like today.

  139. Looks awesome.

  140. This cave is small, the tour only took about 45 minutes. But there is a lot to see every step of the way. Very well run, with very informative tour guides.

  141. Loved it!

  142. Heading this way next weekend, when we visit Galena. Looks cool.

  143. This looks beautiful, how long does the tour take?

  144. We had some very rude people in our tour group, the guide did her best to keep them focused on the tour but i really was not able to enjoy it at all. I tried to speak with the owner and let her know my frustrations but she was already gone. Whoever you are thanks for ruining the tour for the rest of the group. Not nice!

  145. I will have to visit this cave, very pretty!

  146. Lots of interesting history in this cave. Most people don’t know but during Prohibition, this cave hosted wild drinking parties.

  147. This could be a fun road trip!

  148. Lovely pictures!

  149. This could be a fun place to bring the grand kids.

  150. One of our favorite summer destinations.

  151. The article should mention that you might get your feet wet. Not bad but needs to be mentioned. We really enjoyed our tour beautiful cave,even with the wet toes.

  152. We visited yesterday, the girls and I had a great time. Thank you for sharing your locations will all of us.

  153. Great post, I love it a lot. Lots of variety for adventure.

  154. Good post, I enjoyed it so much.

  155. I bet its cool in here, need to visit on a hot ass day

  156. nice article good website

  157. I love visiting the caves. To bad Maquoketa is closed for the year. Guess I will just get my cave fix here.

  158. Wow this is so cool

  159. We had a good visit, the cave water was so cold on my feet. Nice place.

  160. I need to visit here this summer with Maquoketa caves being closed this is our only outlet in iowa

  161. We had a very nice visit to the cave yesterday. So many beautiful formations and knowledgeable guides.

  162. Hi, love the website, have not been to the cave in years. I may have to visit this summer with the other caves being closed all year.

  163. Planning to visit on the 4th! Hope its worth the trip.

  164. beautiful cave and nice gift shop, i will be posting the pictures on the I grew up in Iowa Facebook page. Thank you!

  165. Visited on the 4th and had a great tour, thanks for sharing!

  166. we had a fun visit, nice and cool on a hot day

  167. Looks like a nice break from the summer heat!

  168. Went here over the weekend, it was beautiful.

  169. Nice cave and helpful guides. They even made suggestions on other activities in the area. Thanks for a pleasant experience.

  170. The cool cave air was so refreshing on a muggy day. Neat history of the cave as well.

  171. We had a great visit, the cave air was so refreshing. The gift shop had all kinds of fun items for sale. Thanks for sharing.

  172. Been here many times. Beautiful cave.

  173. I was expecting this to be like Maquoketa caves only pettier, but its totally different. Well worth the trip.

  174. Nice little show cave!

  175. Went on the wild tour with Eli and had a great time!

  176. The guide was so nice to my children, they asked a million questions and the guide answered every single one of them. We had a great time and will be back next summer as well. Thank you for such a memorable experience!

  177. This was a lot cooler then I thought it would be, the cave is beautiful and has a fascinating history as well.

  178. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour! The guide did a nice job and the cave was beautiful.

  179. Друзья, пожалуйста, помогите ребенку! Не проходите мимо!
    Когда Эмир родился, он не заплакал и даже не задышал. Врачи допустили ошибку в принятии родов. Малыша перевели в палату интенсивной терапии в роддоме. На 3 сутки перевезли в реанимацию при 1 детской городской больнице Казани. Там родителям сказали, что ребенок очень тяжелый и даже при хорошем уходе проживет самое большее до двух лет, что лучше будет от него отказаться. Мальчику уже 7 лет, он живет и счастлив рядом с мамой и папой. Наблюдается, пусть и небольшая, положительная динамика. Родители Эмирчика стараются, как могут, сделать все, чтобы облегчить его страдания. После очередной сложнейшей операции ребенку требуется дорогостоящая реабилитация, но у родителей, к сожалению, нет таких денег, и они вынуждены обратиться за помощью к добрым людям. Пожалуйста, не проходите мимо чужой беды!

  180. took a visit while stateside a fine cave in iowa rich with history and wonder

  181. Thanks for the invite, we had a good time and the kids even panned for gemstones.

  182. I had only ever heard of the maquoketa caves but these are beautiful. I will be checking them out very soon thanks.

  183. Beautiful Cave!

  184. Guys just made a web-page for me, look at the link: Tell me your guidances. Thank you.

  185. Оочень хороший препарат, побочек вообще небыло

    спрайсел инструкция

  186. Guys just made a web-site for me, look at the link: Tell me your credentials. THX!

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