The One Place You Have To Go In Arkansas If You’re Looking For Real Adventure
Is there anything more evocative of adventure than buried treasure and a legend with roots in actual history? I think not. If you’re looking for a combination of those things, set in a cave, right here in the Natural State, you definitely need to check out the Old Spanish Treasure Cave. Even if you don’t believe anyone will ever find treasure there, it sure is fun to think about, and exploring the cave is a wonder all its own.
The Old Spanish Treasure Cave is located at 14290 North Highway 59 in Sulphur Springs.
The legend goes that about 350 years ago, Spanish Conquistadors discovered the Seven Cities of Cibola, which contained an epic cache of gold. Coronado, their leader, returned to Mexico empty-handed, but some believe that members of his group hid the gold in an Arkansas cave before being killed by Native American tribes in the area.
That legend has had a long life. In 1885, the cave of legend was rediscovered by an explorer from Madrid. His discovery of the cave has been said to be the result of two maps, one on a tree and one on a rock.
Though neither the maps nor the treasure have ever been found, several artifacts from the time period of the legend have been discovered in the area. Helmets, pieces of armor, and weapons among them. There are also reports of gold pieces being found.
A man named George Dunbar searched for the treasure for many years, but he had to stop because of bad health. There were other attempts, but no one has found the gold yet. Parts of the cave still remain unexplored. The treasure today is estimated at about $40 million.
In the 1930s, the cave was opened up to the public. Though you won’t be digging for gold there, you will find another treasure. The pure excellence of stunning natural beauty.
Today you can go on a 1-hour tour of the Old Spanish Treasure Cave, where you’ll learn all about the history of the cave and the legends surrounding it. You’ll also hear about why folks believe the treasure is still there.
But mostly, you’ll see that even without the legend or promise of riches, the cave is a treasure all on its own.