Caves and Mines
Mammoth Cave National Park Mammoth Cave
Where is it at?
Mammoth Cave National Park
1 Mammoth Cave Parkway
Tel: 270 758-2180
Where are we going today?
We know that if you're at the longest known cave system in the entire world it must be...mammoth! Yep! The Mammoth Caves National Park is an amazing piece of nature in Kentucky, with Mammoth Caves certainly the highlight for a family day out here.
Did you know that in 1841 the then cave owner thought that the cave air might cure his patients who were suffering from tuberculosis? He brought 16 of them into the caves in winter, and gave them stone and wood huts. It didn't end well! But these are some of the very cool stories that you can hear as part of the cave tours, which are offered by season.
Winter and summer bring different tour options. Some of the amazing tours include the Frozen Niagara Tour which is perfect for little kids and the elderly members of the family who can't walk long distances.
Want to experience some history as part of your tour? Over 2 hours you can journey through the entrance that will bring you to "classic" Mammoth Caves landmarks which have actually been visited by military figures, celebrities, and writers from the 1800s and early 1900s. A great family experience!
There are tours exploring the Gothic Avenue, and tours where kids can get up close with the dramatic series of pits and domes, as well as passageways you will find.
But of course, the Mammoth Caves National Park is more than just the amazing caves.
There are 6 miles of trails for horseback riders, and you can even camp over night with them too! If hiking is more your thing, there are nearly 84 miles of trail out in the back country, and ranging in distance and difficulty you certainly will be able to find one that is perfect for you!
The trails are even a chance for you to get your bikes out and make a full day of adventure!
Mammoth Caves National Park is an amazing part of Kentucky - and it certainly makes for a fun and nature filled family day out!
How much does it cost?
- AdultsFree entry to park. Tours from $7.
- ChildrenFree entry to park. Tours from $5.
When can we go?
Visitor Center 8:30am - 430pm winter. 8am - 6pm Summer. Tour times vary
Winter is Nov to March. Open all year round.
It's a great place to learn! They have Environmental Education Programs for your outdoor classroom, or you can arrange a field trip. Just get in contact! .
Within the park there are a number of dining options, including a coffee shop in the Cave Hotel, and there are a number of places just outside the park.
Why not pack a picnic lunch so you can be sure it's full of healthy goodies, and enjoy a family lunch out in nature! .
Any Top Tips?
There is a fun Trog Tour JUST for kids aged 8 - 12 where they can have a kids eye view! There is also a fun Introduction To Caving for kids over 10 which is always fun! .
Doing our bit
The national park is dedicated to preserving the wonderful wildlife and natural beauty within the park, so make sure you help by picking up any trash you have. Let's keep it clean! .
Need a little extra help?
There are activities for every level of ability! There is accessible camping, trails, dining and lodging. The cave, unfortunately, is no accessible. .
Check out the Junior Ranger Program and the Nature Track - both great for kids to give them an activity! .
What people are saying?
by Paul Blackburn
We enjoyed seeing this cave and listening to the pre-recorded audio guide. The cave itself is enormous inside - I've never seen anything like it - and there are plenty of interesting facts and even some exhumed prehistoric animal bones etc. to look at.
The cave is one of 3 in a set, which you can get a discounted pass to see them all if you wish. If you just want to see 1 or even 2, however, it's still worth the non-discounted prices, since they aren't particularly expensive.
by Travis Traub
Had a great time. Truly worth the experience.
Rangers were great!!
Ranger Cory & Ranger Keven were the best!!!
2 best tours are Historic & domes and drip stones.
Violet City Lantern Tour
Was over rated for the experience. If you want to walk in dark cave and see nothing this is the trip for you. The lantern only lights the trail and nothing else. No picture could really be taken and the cave offers no stalagmites or stalagmites. The best part of the trip was exiting the cave and seeing light.
by His Dudeness
Mammoth Cave National Park was definitely a great time. The park is well maintained and the Park Rangers were all great. The staff was very friendly and knowledgable. The restaurant is pretty lame. It is very small. It's best to eat somewhere along I-65. The cave can be quite cool. I recommend carrying a light jacket or sweatshirt for the tour.
We'll be back.
by Ryan Dexter
Overall terrible experience. The only "self guided" tour is 3/4 of a mile and to explore the caves they force you to be part of a big tour group. 140 people stuffed into a small space mixed with an old, mean tour guide who yelled at the group multiple times because a kid was sitting on a rock made the experience a huge let down. Please encourage the management to change the way they do businesses.