Only accessible by paddling down the Jack’s Fork River, Jam Up Cave is one of the most dramatic sites in the Ozarks. Another caveat- the first few miles of the river on which the cave resides are only floatable in the spring (and some sparse wet summers). And explorers have to hike up steep dolomite about three city blocks to get inside.
Most of the cave, which is technically a natural tunnel, is filled with water from an underground waterfall. Ceiling fractures create a natural skylight that allows the sun to permeate deep into the cave, perfect for preservation. The cave contains species that have been around since the Ice Age and are not seen anywhere else.
Being the largest riverfront opening cave in the Ozarks, the view from the interior is just as dramatic. The cave has a prime vantage point of the mountaintop of Greenwood Forest. Jam Up Cave, 12.6 miles into the Ozark’s Scenic Jack’s Fork, is worth the journey for something beautiful and unusual.