The Bonne Terre Mines – Bonne Terre, Missouri

The Bonne Terre Mines - Bonne Terre, Missouri.jpgThe Bonne Terre Mines – Bonne Terre, Missouri

When National Geographic picks its Top 10 Greatest Adventures they do so with the knowledge that just the run of the mill things won’t do it.  They look for things that are interesting, educational and unique.  They found those things at the Bonne Terre Mines and chose them for their list of the Top 10.

Not only was this one of the earliest led mines in Missouri, it was also the worlds largest producer of lead ore.  The mining began in 1860 and continued until 1962.

There are 5 levels to the mine which is actually larger than the town of Bonne Terre.  The lower three levels form a seventeen mile long illuminated Underground “Billion Gallon Lake” which was filed and dived by the well known diver, Jacques Cousteau.  It is also the home of the world’s largest inland SCUBA diving resort.  You can also take a boat tour on the lake.  It is the world’s largest fresh water dive resort. The visibility is over 100 feet at all times.

The upper two levels of the mine are where the lighted areas are used for the one hour guided walking tours along the old Mule Trails.  This tour shows you where the miners dug with a pick and shovel in the 1800’s.  The earliest shaft was dug in 1864. While on the tour you will see Huge Pillar Rooms, Grand Canyon, Billion Gallon Lake, Trout Pond, Underground Glower Gardens, Beautiful Calcite Falls, and ancient abandoned mining tools and rail systems.

The Boat Tour is a guided tour of the Billion Gallon Lake and its crystal clear water and a spectacular view of the largest parts of the mine.  You will see the No. 1 Elevator, Submerged Ore Carts, Wrapped Pillars, and ancient abandoned overhead wooden cat walks suspended 50 to `00 feet above the lake.

Summer Hours(May – September)
Everyday – 9:00am to 4:00pm
Tour Times: Weekdays 930,1030,1130,1230,130,230,330 (Fri, Sat, Sun last tour is 430)

April Hours Weekday tours: Mon – Fri 1030, 1130, 1230, 130. . . Fri, Sat, Sun – 9:00am to 4:00pm

Winter Hours (November – April) Fri, Sat, Sun – 9:00am to 4:00pm



Tour Prices:
*Boat Tours (over 11)

Under 11
Walking Tour Adult  $20
Walking Tour Child (Under 11) $12.00

*Boat Tour includes Walking Tour
*Boat Tours are offered everyday at: 930,1030,1130,1230,130,230,330

Group Rates Available for 20 or more. Call 314-209-7200





  1. This is where I grew up, Come visit my home town, tour the mine and have a walk around town. No hustle and bustle here, just Good People, livin the Good Life, on Good Earth.