Devil's Well (AKA) Cave Spring, Shannon Co., Missouri
N 37° 22.564 W 091° 29.456
15S E 633610 N 4137660
Quick Description: Devil's Well (AKA) Cave Spring, Shannon Co., Missouri. Both Devil's Well and Wallace Well are karst windows, the first a sinkhole opening onto an underground lake larger than a football field, and the second, a cave containing access to another conduit which flows to the spring.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 4/17/2011 8:04:36 PM
Waymark Code: WMB83W
Name: Cave Spring
Location: Shannon County, Mo.
Million gallons per day: 21*
Cubic feet per second: 32*
*Spring is not measurable at high flow since it is almost always backflooded by Current River.
Dye traced from Devil's Well to the northeast, and nearby Wallace Well, a cave slightly to the southeast. Recharge area lies primarily in a 10 mile area to the northeast. Extensively studied by Jerry Vineyard, and much information can be found in the book, Springs of Missouri.
The spring rises a short canoe paddle into a large cave opening on the Current River, from a vertical shaft 140 feet deep. The spring itself is a favorite fishing spot. During underwater survey, a Native American dugout canoe was discovered on the bottom of the spring. Both Devil's Well and Wallace Well are karst windows, the first a sinkhole opening onto an underground lake larger than a football field, and the second, a cave containing access to another conduit which flows to the spring.
Cave Spring has a long history of usage as a fishing, picnicking and canoe rest spot, but has never been commercially developed. Devil's Well was first explored in 1952. It was primitively developed and shown by the Wallace family as a tourist attraction in the 1960's and early 1970's, with a picnic area and gift shop. It was during Wallace's ownership that Vineyard's extensive study occurred. In the late 1960's, Devils Well was mapped by Ozark Spring Studies, an effort which required 62 weekends of trips by divers, cavers and mappers. During this era, Cave Spring was owned by the L-A-D Foundation, a private conservation group. Devils Well was sold to the National Park Service in 1974.
Ownership and Access:
Cave Spring is privately held by the L-A-D Foundation, but public access from the river is allowed for viewing only. Canoeists should be aware of the extremely cold and deep water if taking a look at the spring, which is in semi-darkness at the rear of the cave. There are no developed roads to the spring. Both Devil's and Wallace Well are extremely hazardous, and gated, with no access allowed to the caves themselves. A steep, gravel road leads to Devil's Well, where visitors may look through the karst window to the water from a viewing platform. Wallace Well Cave is obscure. The gated entrance is visible only by river.
Type of Land: National Park
Managed By: National Park Service
Contact Info: Missouri Department Conservation 1-800-392-1111 or Ozark Regional Office West Plains, MO, 65775, Phone: (417) 256-7161
Website: [Web Link]
Type of Cave: Karst Cave
Contains Stalactites: no
Contains Stalagmites: no
Contains Bats: no
Price of Admission: 0.00 (listed in local currency)
Please include a digital photograph of the cave which documents your visit and any information that may be helpful for future visitors.