There are over 7,000 caves within an hour’s drive of Chattanooga, including parts of Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia (TAG). Guided cave tours are a great outdoor activity to do on extremely hot, cold or bad weather days because cave temperatures stay a constant 55-60 degrees. Commercial caverns and outfitters in the area offer guided cave tours ranging from an easy walk on wide pathways to getting down and dirty, muddy and cruddy on a wild cave adventure.
Cumberland CavernsCumberland Caverns is located 70 miles north of Chattanooga, in McMinnville, TN, near Fall Creek Falls State Park and Savage Gulf. The commercial cavern offers Daily Walking Tours, Adventure Trips, Overnight Adventure Trips, and world-class entertainment from 333 feet below. With more than 32 miles of caves and underground passageways, incredible rock formations, beautiful underground waterfalls, and gleaming pools, there is plenty of fun and adventure for everyone!
Hours and Cost
Open Daily: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., central time
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas day
Cost: Varies based on adventure package and group size.
1437 Cumberland Caverns Rd.
McMinnville, TN 37110
Petty John's CavePettyjohns Cave is located in the Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area, in Walker County, GA, and is comprised of 6.5 miles of charted underground trails. The cave includes a squeeze called the Worm Hole and several large rooms, including the Echo Room and the Bridge Room, where a stream running 80 feet below the bridge can be heard. G3 Adventures offers guided wild cave tours to Petty John’s cave.
DO NOT EXPLORE ANY CAVE WITHOUT THE PROPER EQUIPMENT AND GUIDANCE
Hours and Cost
Open Daily: Sunrise to Sunset
Cost: varies depending on duration of tour
Raccoon Mountain CavernsLocated right outside of Chattanooga, Raccoon Mountain Caverns offer walking cavern tours and wild cave tours for groups of adults and kids. Trained cave guides lead groups through the vast underground network of chambers, canyons, tunnels, small streams, and large waterfalls that are beneath Raccoon Mountain.On a wild cave tour, expect walking, stoop walking, and some crawling. The expedition also includes some belly crawls, a visit to sandpaper slide, and the 49-cent squeeze.
Raccoon Mountain also features a campground suitable for both RV’s and tents.
Ruby FallsRuby Falls is the tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public in the United States. The 145-foot underground waterfall is located more than 1,120 feet beneath the surface of Lookout Mountain. The hugely popular tourist attraction offers guided tours daily.Ruby Falls is a very small part of Lookout Mountain Cave, of which has a mapped length of 2.5 miles and has been closed to the public for decades. The natural cave entrance is at the base of Lookout Mtn. on U.S. 41, overlooking I-24 and the Tennessee River, but cannot be accessed by the public.
Sitton's CaveSitton’s Cave is part of Georgia’s Cloudland Canyon State Park and is widely known as a great cave to explore with the family. Sitton’s sits at the bottom of the canyon and is open for tours in April, June, July, September, and October.Guided tours vary in length from one to four hours and require a moderate level of physical fitness and a high tolerance for mud.
The Lost SeaThe Lost Sea is a registered National Landmark and the world’s second largest underground lake after Dragon’s Breath Cave in Namibia, Africa. The lake has a visible surface area of approximately 4.5 acres and a total of 12 acres has been mapped under water.
It is part of a vast cave system called Craighead Caverns that extends underneath a mountain in Sweetwater, TN. The cave contains fossils from the Pleistocene epoch and large volume of crystal clusters.This family attraction offers guided walking and boating tours through the cave every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving. Wild cave tours are available for groups by appointment only and includes a regular cavern tour as well as an exciting tour into the undeveloped cave rooms where one crawls through cracks, crevices, nooks, and crannies. Contact the Lost Seas directly to learn more.
Caving in Chattanooga
Guided Cave Tours
Find guided walking and wild/adventurous cave tours from the list above.
Wild Caves are Fragile and Dangerous
The inexperienced should not enter any cave without proper equipment and guidance. Cave ecosystems are extremely fragile and beginner blunders can quickly become life-threatening emergencies.
White Nose Syndrome is Killing Southeastern Bats
White Nose Syndrome, a fungus that is killing North American bats, exists in TN, GA, and AL. In order to protect native bat species, some caves have been closed to the public and all cavers should comply with the posted warnings and use proper decontamination procedures.