Ozark National Scenic Riverways has announced that the stairwell and viewing platform over Devils Well will be temporarily closed to the public on June 24-25 so that researchers may conduct biological monitoring of the underground spring system and evaluate the platform supports.
Devils Well is a unique natural feature that was formed when the roof of a huge cavern, containing an underground lake, collapsed. The result was a large sinkhole with an opening in the bottom through which the lake can be viewed.
The water level is approximately 100 feet below the viewing platform, and the lake may be as much as 80 feet deep in a chamber that measures 400 feet long and 100 feet wide. The water in Devils Well emerges from the ground at Cave Spring on the Current River.
The first known exploration of Devils Well was in 1954 by brothers Bill and Bob Wallace, using a hand powered winch attached to steel cable and a “bosun’s chair.” Later, divers and researchers entered Devils Well to collect information about the lake and recorded the presence of two species of cave crayfish: the Salem cave crayfish and the rare, blind southern crayfish.
However, it has been more than 30 years since researchers last descended into Devils Well to monitor the underground environment.