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FAQs

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Groups

  • My Organization is TAX EXEMPT. How do I get the taxes taken off our reservation?

    First we must have up-to-date documentation that your organization is tax exempt. This can either be a Federal level 501c3 exemption, or it can be issued by the state of TN. We can NOT accept tax exemptions issued by other states.

    We require proof of tax exemption before you make your reservation, so please email the tax exemption form along with relevant details for your organization and what you are trying to make a reservation for, to rsvp -at- cumberlandcaverns.com

    We can NOT apply tax exemption retroactively to reservations you have already paid for.

  • How can I Schedule A SCHOOL FIELD TRIP?

    School field trips are a GREAT way to get the kids excited about learning!

    In order to schedule a field trip you will need to read through an FAQ and then fill out a form. We have quite a few different options to choose from at a variety of price points! Send an email to rsvp AT cumberlandcaverns DOT com to get a copy of the current school year’s FAQ document and reservation sheet.

    Please keep in mind we can NOT save a time/date for you until we receive the completed form and necessary documents from you via email. Once we have those documents we will send you a confirmation email confirming the details of your trip. Once you receive the confirmation email from us you will know you are good to go!

    We HIGHLY suggest planning well in advance. Our school field trip calendar fills up quickly! When you send us an email to request the forms go ahead and have a few options for dates you are interested in so we can check the calendar and let you know what is still available.

  • Do you offer group discounts?

    Yes, we offer group discounts for organized groups of 20 or more paying guests on WALKING tours. All tickets must be paid for together with a single payment method and must be reserved at least 10 days in advance. Group discounts are applicable to walking tours ONLY.

    Group discounts are valid for regular walking tours only, or special deep discounts are available for organized school groups. Contact the reservations office by emailed rsvp @ cumberlandcaverns.com or calling 931-668-4396 ext 100. If you get a voicemail please leave a message! We are often busy with other guests or answering other phone calls and we won’t know to call you back if you don’t leave a message.

    Group discounts are NOT applicable to Adventure Tours or Overnight Adventure Packages.

     

  • Can you explain the different tours?

    We have three main types of tours here at Cumberland Caverns.

    Walking Tours are led by a tour guide through the lit portions of the cave. They are appropriate for all ages and involve no crawling at all. The walk can still be mildly strenuous as there are hills and stairs. Be sure to read the description of the tour to be sure you are getting the best experience. We do have some specialty walking tours that have age restrictions, such as our Lanterns & Legends Tour (which is led by lantern light and experiences periods of time in complete darkness) and our Speleology Spotlight tour (which is much denser in science material and not appropriate for younger children).

     

    Caving Adventures are tours led by a guide where you will be wearing a helmet and headlamp. These tours involve crawling, climbing, squeezing, ladders and more. We have a range of adventure tours to suit different experience and age levels. Funny enough, the adventure tours that are easiest for the younger kids tend to be harder for us full-size adults. Please make sure to read the tour description thoroughly to be sure you are selecting the correct tour for your entire group.

     

    Overnight Adventure Packages are designed for larger groups, but we can also accommodate smaller groups, families and couples if you don’t mind sleeping in the same “cave campground” as other large groups (like scouts and church groups). We have four different overnight adventure packages, all include a caving adventure tour, sleeping in the cave overnight, and a complimentary breakfast. The two easier overnight packages also include a walking tour. Once you enter the cave for an overnight tour you do not come back out again until the next morning, so you must be able to be in the cave for the entire duration. Don’t worry, we have in cave restrooms and a Cave Café that will serve up some delicious dinner after your tours.

  • Can I leave the cave during an Overnight Adventure?

    For your safety and security once you enter the cave you are not permitted to leave the cave until the guide escorts the overnight guests out as a group at 9 am the next morning. Alcohol is prohibited on Cumberland Caverns property. Smoking is prohibited inside the cave. Outside food and drink is also prohibited inside the cave. You may not leave during the overnight. If caught smoking, drinking, or wandering the cave unattended by a tour guide outside of the designated area you will be prohibited from activities and ejected from participation for the rest of the overnight.

  • As the Group Leader, what will I need at check-in?

    • Ensure EVERYONE has filled out the digital ONLINE waiver PRIOR to arrival
    • Any person under 18 years of age participating in the caving tour will need a parent/guardian digital waiver signature too
    • You will need to make an accurate count and list of all names that will be participating on the trip.
    • Rules & Regulations are subject to updates to make the best experience for EVERYONE. Even if you have been here before, please read your reservation email and attachments thoroughly!

    Helpful Hint: Releases are sent with your confirmation packet after purchase. Check your spam folder if you did not received your confirmation email. Please make sure to forward everyone in your group the overnight packet email, so there are no surprises on what to expect on your adventure. READ ALL DETAILS IN THE EMAIL AND ATTACHMENT!!

  • What time will we need to check-in?

    • Walking Tours AND Daytime Cave Tours need to check in AT LEAST 15 minutes prior to tour time!
      • If you are late the tour will depart without you. We will do our best to get you on another tour, if available.
    • Overnight Adventure Packages check-in at 5:30 PM Saturday and Sunday.
    • Overnight Adventure Packages check-in at 6:30 PM Monday – Friday.
      • The gate is closed and locked after overnight check-in. If you arrive more than 30 minutes late you may not be allowed to join- It’s not fair to all the other groups that arrived on time and are waiting for you.

    Helpful Hint: It never hurts to arrive a bit early. There are always last-minute details you can take care of and there is a fun SpeleoBox to crawl through.

  • What will happen on the day of our ADVENTURE Tour?

    • Your group will arrive at Cumberland Caverns and assemble outside our gift shop.
    • Your Party Leader will check-in with the gift shop counter-They need to confirm the full names & number of people in your group so we can confirm the proper liability waivers have been completed. After check-in you will receive final instructions.
    • Overnight cavers will be escorted by their tour guides to the campsite DEEP inside the cave.
      • Overnight Adventurers will drop off their things at camp and go straight into their adventure tour! This means you should be wearing the clothes you expect to get muddy BEFORE being escorted into the cave. Staying together and organized will keep you on schedule and insure you don’t have other activities cut short!
    • Before ALL ADVENTURE tours your guide will make you crawl through a test box  (12″x33″) to make sure you will fit through the cave. They will then outfit you with a helmet and headlamp.
    • Your caving tour guide will give review the rules & instructions for safe caving that were sent with your confirmation email, and they will lead you through a caving adventure!
    • You MUST stay with your guide & tour group at all times!
    • Any vandalism in the cave, such as writing on the walls, is subject to prosecution.

    Helpful Hint: Don’t forget to eat a light meal or snack before arrival — you’ll need the energy!

  • What is your cancellation policy?

    Standard policy is there are no cancellations or refunds. Just the same as a concert ticket, once you have purchased a reservation we have likely turned away other groups because you held those spots. Cancellation Policy varies by the tour type you have purchased. We incur all the same expenses from preparing for your activity and have already ordered food, supplies and spent time preparing for your arrival sometimes days to weeks before you are here.

    Overnight Adventures may be rescheduled or issued credit for a future reservation -once- with a 10-day advance notice. A $10 cancellation fee applies if you cancel an Overnight Adventure Package with less than 10 day but a minimum 2 day notice. Cancellations less than 2 days in advance and no-shows receive no credit.
    Daytime Adventure tours may be rescheduled or issued credit for a future reservation -once- with a 48 hours advance notice. A $10 cancellation fee applies if you cancel less than 48 hours but a minimum of 2 hours notice. Cancellations with less than 2 hours notice and no-shows will receive no credit.
    Walking Tours may be rescheduled or issued credit for a future reservation -once- with a minimum 2 hours notice. No-shows are ineligible for any future credit.

    IF someone is unable to attend last minute you may substitute a different participant in their place. If this is an activity that requires a waiver we will need to clear out the waiver for the person who is not attending to open up a blank waiver for the substitute, so please call us immediately! Please note all tours are subject to availability, which can change by the minute.

    No-Shows and last minute cancellations are NOT eligible for rescheduling, vouchers or gift certificates.

    All credit can ONLY be issued in the name of the person who paid for the reservation. All credit is issued in the form of a digital gift card code that is good for a maximum of 2 years from the original reservation date. Credit is only issued if the above policies are met, and must be redeemed PRIOR to the expiration date. Cancellation fees apply according to the schedule above and your gift card may be less a cancellation fee of $10 per person. These gift card codes are good ONLY for future tours booked in advance and are NOT valid for food or merchandise. They are issued at the discretion of management and are NON-TRANSFERABLE.
    For questions or rescheduling, please contact us: 931-668-4396 ext 100 to leave a message or rsvp -at- cumberlandcaverns.com

  • What if I want to add more people to my group?

    • The more, the merrier! We will do our best to fit in additional people if there is room on the trip.
    • Please call us (931-668-4396 ext 100), and let us know how many more are coming as soon as possible.
    • We can NOT save spots that are not paid in full.
    • We still require 10-day advance notice for additions without a late fee.
  • How big/small of a group can I bring?

    • There is a 2-person minimum for all tours. This is a safety requirement. If you are traveling solo please call so we can add you to a tour that already has people on it
    • Each tour has a different maximum capacity, which is listed for the description of each tour.
    • Larger groups may be split into multiple tour groups with different guides and staggered tour times
    • There is a 10-person minimum for Overnight Caving Adventure Packages. If your party is smaller than 10 call to check what dates you might be able to join other larger groups that have already confirmed.
    • Tours are subject to availability- Not all tours are available every day! Click “Book Now” to see a calendar of availability!

    Helpful Hint: We have a LOT of tour options here and we can’t do all of them every day. The Discovery and Cardwell tours are offered every day, but the rest of the tours are scheduled based on which activities have reservations first. When you have made a decision it is smart to book ASAP, because while it may show available now, if someone books a different tour for that same day or that tour fills up, it may no longer be available later. Once you have paid for and booked a tour you will receive an email confirmation, and then you will know you are good to go!

Reservations

  • My Organization is TAX EXEMPT. How do I get the taxes taken off our reservation?

    First we must have up-to-date documentation that your organization is tax exempt. This can either be a Federal level 501c3 exemption, or it can be issued by the state of TN. We can NOT accept tax exemptions issued by other states.

    We require proof of tax exemption before you make your reservation, so please email the tax exemption form along with relevant details for your organization and what you are trying to make a reservation for, to rsvp -at- cumberlandcaverns.com

    We can NOT apply tax exemption retroactively to reservations you have already paid for.

  • Are reservations required?

    Walk-ins for our public WALKING tours are always welcome, though if tours are full you might have to wait for one that has room. While reservations for our primary walking tours, the Cardwell and Discovery, are not required, they are still highly recommended. In order to book online to guarantee your tour time you must book at least 2 hours prior to departure time. Once a walking tour is less than 2 hours away all remaining tickets are released to the gift shop, where they can be purchased in-person only, first-come, first-served. You must purchase tickets in person at least 15 minutes prior to tour time in order to be added to a tour. Tours are limited in capacity, and tour times are only guaranteed for those who have advance reservations.

    ADVENTURE tours require at least 2-hour advance booking. It will take time to read through the paperwork, complete your liability waivers, and make sure you have the proper clothing and gear for this type of tour.

    All OVERNIGHT packages require a 10-day advance booking. We have to order supplies for these activities, and it will take time for you to read through our paperwork, complete waivers, and prepare the necessary supplies and clothing.

    We have a 12 different tour options here and we can’t do all of them every day. The Discovery and Cardwell tours are offered every day, but the rest of the tours are scheduled based on which activities have reservations first. When you have made a decision on what tour and time you want it is smart to book ASAP, once you’ve determined that tour is right for you. While the tour may be available now, if someone books a different tour for that same day or that tour fills up, it may no longer be available later. Once you have paid for and booked a tour you will receive an email confirmation, and then you will know you are good to go!

    Helpful hint: In order to get a reservation online you must book at least 2 hours PRIOR to departure time. Once a tour is less than two hours away from departing, if there are any remaining tickets for that tour they are released to be sold in the gift shop on a first-come, first-served, in-person ticket purchase only.

  • How can I Schedule A SCHOOL FIELD TRIP?

    School field trips are a GREAT way to get the kids excited about learning!

    In order to schedule a field trip you will need to read through an FAQ and then fill out a form. We have quite a few different options to choose from at a variety of price points! Send an email to rsvp AT cumberlandcaverns DOT com to get a copy of the current school year’s FAQ document and reservation sheet.

    Please keep in mind we can NOT save a time/date for you until we receive the completed form and necessary documents from you via email. Once we have those documents we will send you a confirmation email confirming the details of your trip. Once you receive the confirmation email from us you will know you are good to go!

    We HIGHLY suggest planning well in advance. Our school field trip calendar fills up quickly! When you send us an email to request the forms go ahead and have a few options for dates you are interested in so we can check the calendar and let you know what is still available.

  • Do you offer group discounts?

    Yes, we offer group discounts for organized groups of 20 or more paying guests on WALKING tours. All tickets must be paid for together with a single payment method and must be reserved at least 10 days in advance. Group discounts are applicable to walking tours ONLY.

    Group discounts are valid for regular walking tours only, or special deep discounts are available for organized school groups. Contact the reservations office by emailed rsvp @ cumberlandcaverns.com or calling 931-668-4396 ext 100. If you get a voicemail please leave a message! We are often busy with other guests or answering other phone calls and we won’t know to call you back if you don’t leave a message.

    Group discounts are NOT applicable to Adventure Tours or Overnight Adventure Packages.

     

  • Can you explain the different tours?

    We have three main types of tours here at Cumberland Caverns.

    Walking Tours are led by a tour guide through the lit portions of the cave. They are appropriate for all ages and involve no crawling at all. The walk can still be mildly strenuous as there are hills and stairs. Be sure to read the description of the tour to be sure you are getting the best experience. We do have some specialty walking tours that have age restrictions, such as our Lanterns & Legends Tour (which is led by lantern light and experiences periods of time in complete darkness) and our Speleology Spotlight tour (which is much denser in science material and not appropriate for younger children).

     

    Caving Adventures are tours led by a guide where you will be wearing a helmet and headlamp. These tours involve crawling, climbing, squeezing, ladders and more. We have a range of adventure tours to suit different experience and age levels. Funny enough, the adventure tours that are easiest for the younger kids tend to be harder for us full-size adults. Please make sure to read the tour description thoroughly to be sure you are selecting the correct tour for your entire group.

     

    Overnight Adventure Packages are designed for larger groups, but we can also accommodate smaller groups, families and couples if you don’t mind sleeping in the same “cave campground” as other large groups (like scouts and church groups). We have four different overnight adventure packages, all include a caving adventure tour, sleeping in the cave overnight, and a complimentary breakfast. The two easier overnight packages also include a walking tour. Once you enter the cave for an overnight tour you do not come back out again until the next morning, so you must be able to be in the cave for the entire duration. Don’t worry, we have in cave restrooms and a Cave Café that will serve up some delicious dinner after your tours.

  • Can I leave the cave during an Overnight Adventure?

    For your safety and security once you enter the cave you are not permitted to leave the cave until the guide escorts the overnight guests out as a group at 9 am the next morning. Alcohol is prohibited on Cumberland Caverns property. Smoking is prohibited inside the cave. Outside food and drink is also prohibited inside the cave. You may not leave during the overnight. If caught smoking, drinking, or wandering the cave unattended by a tour guide outside of the designated area you will be prohibited from activities and ejected from participation for the rest of the overnight.

  • I might be late, what do I need to do?

    • If you believe you will be late, please call the office immediately at 931-668-4396.
    • If you need to reschedule, please let us know as soon as possible.
    • If you are late for a tour it may depart without you. We will do our best to get you on the next tour, if available
    • We do reserve the right to cancel trips for late arrival.
  • What is your cancellation policy?

    Standard policy is there are no cancellations or refunds. Just the same as a concert ticket, once you have purchased a reservation we have likely turned away other groups because you held those spots. Cancellation Policy varies by the tour type you have purchased. We incur all the same expenses from preparing for your activity and have already ordered food, supplies and spent time preparing for your arrival sometimes days to weeks before you are here.

    Overnight Adventures may be rescheduled or issued credit for a future reservation -once- with a 10-day advance notice. A $10 cancellation fee applies if you cancel an Overnight Adventure Package with less than 10 day but a minimum 2 day notice. Cancellations less than 2 days in advance and no-shows receive no credit.
    Daytime Adventure tours may be rescheduled or issued credit for a future reservation -once- with a 48 hours advance notice. A $10 cancellation fee applies if you cancel less than 48 hours but a minimum of 2 hours notice. Cancellations with less than 2 hours notice and no-shows will receive no credit.
    Walking Tours may be rescheduled or issued credit for a future reservation -once- with a minimum 2 hours notice. No-shows are ineligible for any future credit.

    IF someone is unable to attend last minute you may substitute a different participant in their place. If this is an activity that requires a waiver we will need to clear out the waiver for the person who is not attending to open up a blank waiver for the substitute, so please call us immediately! Please note all tours are subject to availability, which can change by the minute.

    No-Shows and last minute cancellations are NOT eligible for rescheduling, vouchers or gift certificates.

    All credit can ONLY be issued in the name of the person who paid for the reservation. All credit is issued in the form of a digital gift card code that is good for a maximum of 2 years from the original reservation date. Credit is only issued if the above policies are met, and must be redeemed PRIOR to the expiration date. Cancellation fees apply according to the schedule above and your gift card may be less a cancellation fee of $10 per person. These gift card codes are good ONLY for future tours booked in advance and are NOT valid for food or merchandise. They are issued at the discretion of management and are NON-TRANSFERABLE.
    For questions or rescheduling, please contact us: 931-668-4396 ext 100 to leave a message or rsvp -at- cumberlandcaverns.com

  • How do I make reservations for a Caving Tour?

    • You may make reservations here on our website, or if you prefer, you can call us to help plan your adventure at 931-668-4396 ext 100.
    • PLEASE keep in mind we often experience a large volume of calls. You will likely need to leave a voicemail and we will call you back in the order it was received.
    • The FASTEST way to make a reservation is online.
    • We accept American Express, Discover, Visa, Mastercard, or cash.
    • We can NOT save spots on any tours without payment.
    • All reservations should be made and paid for 10 days prior to the caving tour date.
    • After selecting and purchasing your Cumberland Caverns Tour, you will receive a confirmation email.
    • Reservations are not complete until you receive a confirmation from our office.
    • If your group has a Tennessee or Federal certificate of tax exemption, please email or scan and email a copy to rsvp @ cumberlandcaverns.com when making your reservation.
  • What if I want to add more people to my group?

    • The more, the merrier! We will do our best to fit in additional people if there is room on the trip.
    • Please call us (931-668-4396 ext 100), and let us know how many more are coming as soon as possible.
    • We can NOT save spots that are not paid in full.
    • We still require 10-day advance notice for additions without a late fee.
  • How big/small of a group can I bring?

    • There is a 2-person minimum for all tours. This is a safety requirement. If you are traveling solo please call so we can add you to a tour that already has people on it
    • Each tour has a different maximum capacity, which is listed for the description of each tour.
    • Larger groups may be split into multiple tour groups with different guides and staggered tour times
    • There is a 10-person minimum for Overnight Caving Adventure Packages. If your party is smaller than 10 call to check what dates you might be able to join other larger groups that have already confirmed.
    • Tours are subject to availability- Not all tours are available every day! Click “Book Now” to see a calendar of availability!

    Helpful Hint: We have a LOT of tour options here and we can’t do all of them every day. The Discovery and Cardwell tours are offered every day, but the rest of the tours are scheduled based on which activities have reservations first. When you have made a decision it is smart to book ASAP, because while it may show available now, if someone books a different tour for that same day or that tour fills up, it may no longer be available later. Once you have paid for and booked a tour you will receive an email confirmation, and then you will know you are good to go!

Special Needs

  • Are your tours handicapped accessible?

    Unfortunately, nature did not make the cave handicapped-accessible, but you can still visit our gift shop and explore our other activities.

    Even our easiest tour includes some steep inclines & declines, uneven natural dirt floors, and dimly-lit cave passages.

  • Can you accommodate my special needs during the overnight tour?

    • We will do our best to help you and your group have a fun and safe experience while spelunking at Cumberland Caverns. If you have special needs, please call (931-668-4396) and let us find a way to help you.
    • One of the most frequent needs addressed is Sleep Apnea. We do have electrical outlets at the campsite for CPAP machines.
    • Medicines: If there are medicines that need to be stored or taken during the adventure trip, please ask your group leader to inform us at check-in.
    • Dietary Restrictions: If you have specific dietary needs during your stay, please let us know when making your reservation. Outside food and drink can not be brought into the cave unless arranged ahead of time with Cumberland Caverns staff. This food will need to be securely packaged and will be transported into the cave by staff, where it will be stored in a secure location.

Things to Bring

  • Are there things we cannot bring?

    Yes, to protect the caverns and abide by the laws of the state of Tennessee, there are a few items that are not allowed in the cave.

    The following is a list of items that are not allowed at Cumberland Caverns:

    • Chewing gum.
    • Alcohol or drugs.
    • Food or drinks.
    • Pets, radios, video games, laser pointers, or musical instruments.
    • Weapons or fireworks.
    • Cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes, or vaping equipment.

    Helpful Hint: If you are coming for an Overnight Adventure Package and medically must have certain foods, please call 931-668-4396 to speak to a manager to make advance arrangements.

  • What do I need to wear on a Caving Adventure Tour?

    • Jeans or pants are best (remember, you will be getting dirty, so not your best pair).
    • Knee pads will make your experience happier. Elbow pads might help too!
    • Shorts are NOT allowed since you will be crawling on your hands and knees.
    • Gloves are required. Gardening or mechanics gloves are perfect to both protect your hands AND give you good grip! We do sell some in the gift shop if you forget
    • Hiking boots are best, but good lace-up sneakers will also work. 
    • Layer a long-sleeve shirt with a T-shirt (or just a T-shirt is fine for spelunking). 

    Helpful Hint: Knee pads and elbow pads are highly recommended but not required.

  • What do I need to bring on an Overnight Caving Tour?

    • A backpack or duffel bag packed with all of your gear.
    • A sturdy flashlight with extra batteries.
    • Gloves, sturdy hiking shoes, long pants for caving. These will get muddy.
    • A small pack to carry a water bottle, and extra batteries.
    • Change of clothes, socks, shoes, and a jacket.
    • Helpful Hint: You are staying inside the cave overnight; bring warmer clothes to sleep in.
    • Plastic bag for dirty clothes. You will get wet and muddy!
    • Sleeping bag, ground cloth (tarp, plastic), or mat.

    Helpful Hint: We do have electricity in the cave, so if you want to bring an air mattress and pump for “roughing-it,” that will work just fine. Only a select few campsites in the cave have outlets, please tell the reservation manager upon booking if you require a plugin for a CPAP machine, and we will make sure you are accommodated.

    Helpful Hint: You will carry your gear ½ mile from the parking area to the cave, so pack light & pack smart!

  • As the Group Leader, what will I need at check-in?

    • Ensure EVERYONE has filled out the digital ONLINE waiver PRIOR to arrival
    • Any person under 18 years of age participating in the caving tour will need a parent/guardian digital waiver signature too
    • You will need to make an accurate count and list of all names that will be participating on the trip.
    • Rules & Regulations are subject to updates to make the best experience for EVERYONE. Even if you have been here before, please read your reservation email and attachments thoroughly!

    Helpful Hint: Releases are sent with your confirmation packet after purchase. Check your spam folder if you did not received your confirmation email. Please make sure to forward everyone in your group the overnight packet email, so there are no surprises on what to expect on your adventure. READ ALL DETAILS IN THE EMAIL AND ATTACHMENT!!

What to Expect

  • Are reservations required?

    Walk-ins for our public WALKING tours are always welcome, though if tours are full you might have to wait for one that has room. While reservations for our primary walking tours, the Cardwell and Discovery, are not required, they are still highly recommended. In order to book online to guarantee your tour time you must book at least 2 hours prior to departure time. Once a walking tour is less than 2 hours away all remaining tickets are released to the gift shop, where they can be purchased in-person only, first-come, first-served. You must purchase tickets in person at least 15 minutes prior to tour time in order to be added to a tour. Tours are limited in capacity, and tour times are only guaranteed for those who have advance reservations.

    ADVENTURE tours require at least 2-hour advance booking. It will take time to read through the paperwork, complete your liability waivers, and make sure you have the proper clothing and gear for this type of tour.

    All OVERNIGHT packages require a 10-day advance booking. We have to order supplies for these activities, and it will take time for you to read through our paperwork, complete waivers, and prepare the necessary supplies and clothing.

    We have a 12 different tour options here and we can’t do all of them every day. The Discovery and Cardwell tours are offered every day, but the rest of the tours are scheduled based on which activities have reservations first. When you have made a decision on what tour and time you want it is smart to book ASAP, once you’ve determined that tour is right for you. While the tour may be available now, if someone books a different tour for that same day or that tour fills up, it may no longer be available later. Once you have paid for and booked a tour you will receive an email confirmation, and then you will know you are good to go!

    Helpful hint: In order to get a reservation online you must book at least 2 hours PRIOR to departure time. Once a tour is less than two hours away from departing, if there are any remaining tickets for that tour they are released to be sold in the gift shop on a first-come, first-served, in-person ticket purchase only.

  • Can you explain the different tours?

    We have three main types of tours here at Cumberland Caverns.

    Walking Tours are led by a tour guide through the lit portions of the cave. They are appropriate for all ages and involve no crawling at all. The walk can still be mildly strenuous as there are hills and stairs. Be sure to read the description of the tour to be sure you are getting the best experience. We do have some specialty walking tours that have age restrictions, such as our Lanterns & Legends Tour (which is led by lantern light and experiences periods of time in complete darkness) and our Speleology Spotlight tour (which is much denser in science material and not appropriate for younger children).

     

    Caving Adventures are tours led by a guide where you will be wearing a helmet and headlamp. These tours involve crawling, climbing, squeezing, ladders and more. We have a range of adventure tours to suit different experience and age levels. Funny enough, the adventure tours that are easiest for the younger kids tend to be harder for us full-size adults. Please make sure to read the tour description thoroughly to be sure you are selecting the correct tour for your entire group.

     

    Overnight Adventure Packages are designed for larger groups, but we can also accommodate smaller groups, families and couples if you don’t mind sleeping in the same “cave campground” as other large groups (like scouts and church groups). We have four different overnight adventure packages, all include a caving adventure tour, sleeping in the cave overnight, and a complimentary breakfast. The two easier overnight packages also include a walking tour. Once you enter the cave for an overnight tour you do not come back out again until the next morning, so you must be able to be in the cave for the entire duration. Don’t worry, we have in cave restrooms and a Cave Café that will serve up some delicious dinner after your tours.

  • Can I leave the cave during an Overnight Adventure?

    For your safety and security once you enter the cave you are not permitted to leave the cave until the guide escorts the overnight guests out as a group at 9 am the next morning. Alcohol is prohibited on Cumberland Caverns property. Smoking is prohibited inside the cave. Outside food and drink is also prohibited inside the cave. You may not leave during the overnight. If caught smoking, drinking, or wandering the cave unattended by a tour guide outside of the designated area you will be prohibited from activities and ejected from participation for the rest of the overnight.

  • Do you serve food and drinks in the cave?

    We do NOT allow food and drink in the cave during regular tours.

    Food and drink is served at our Cave Cafe only during special events, like concerts and overnight stays. Food and drink during these times is limited to the Volcano Room area and may not be carried into or out of the cave except by our trained staff. Food and drink, other than pure water, must be consumed in the designated eating area and can NOT be brought back to your camp site.

    Cumberland Caverns is, and always has been, an alcohol-free and drug-free property.

  • What can I expect on the Cardwell Mountain History Tour?

    • Our easiest walking tour-Though you will still encounter a few steep hills and be walking on an uneven, natural cave floor unsuitable for strollers, wheelchairs or walkers.
    • MUST stay with guide at all times. Can not leave tour without a guide escorting you, and the whole tour group, out of the cave.
    • A focus on history and exploration of Cumberland Caverns and TN Caves.
    • Approximately 0.75 miles and takes about 45 minutes to complete.
    • Good lace-up walking shoes are recommended.
    • The cave is 56 degrees year-round with 99% humidity.
    • No reservations are required for the Cardwell Mountain History tour.
    • Group rates are available for groups over 20 people paying in a single transaction.
    • A minimum of TWO guests is required for a tour to depart. If you are traveling solo please call ahead to find out the best time to add in with another group.
    • Tours are scheduled throughout the day – Click “Book Now” to see the calendar of availability for each tour.
  • Will I fit on the Adventure Tours?

    The smallest space on our adventure tours (both Caving Adventures and Overnight Caving Packages) is 12″ by 33″. It is only this small for a few feet at a time, but there are a couple natural constrictions in those parts of the cave. One place you will do this on your back, and another you will be going though a space this size on your side. We do have a test box on our porch AND inside our 10 Acre Room that you will be required to crawl through in front of your guide so we know you will be able to go through the cave tour without any problems.

    No, we can’t tell you if you will fit if you give us your height and weight. Everyone has a unique body shape and carries their weight differently. There are people who weigh less that can not fit and people who weigh more that fit just fine. The best thing to do is either crawl through the box here on the porch, or make a box at home to those dimensions, see if you can crawl through.

  • Are there things we cannot bring?

    Yes, to protect the caverns and abide by the laws of the state of Tennessee, there are a few items that are not allowed in the cave.

    The following is a list of items that are not allowed at Cumberland Caverns:

    • Chewing gum.
    • Alcohol or drugs.
    • Food or drinks.
    • Pets, radios, video games, laser pointers, or musical instruments.
    • Weapons or fireworks.
    • Cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes, or vaping equipment.

    Helpful Hint: If you are coming for an Overnight Adventure Package and medically must have certain foods, please call 931-668-4396 to speak to a manager to make advance arrangements.

  • I might be late, what do I need to do?

    • If you believe you will be late, please call the office immediately at 931-668-4396.
    • If you need to reschedule, please let us know as soon as possible.
    • If you are late for a tour it may depart without you. We will do our best to get you on the next tour, if available
    • We do reserve the right to cancel trips for late arrival.
  • What time will we need to check-in?

    • Walking Tours AND Daytime Cave Tours need to check in AT LEAST 15 minutes prior to tour time!
      • If you are late the tour will depart without you. We will do our best to get you on another tour, if available.
    • Overnight Adventure Packages check-in at 5:30 PM Saturday and Sunday.
    • Overnight Adventure Packages check-in at 6:30 PM Monday – Friday.
      • The gate is closed and locked after overnight check-in. If you arrive more than 30 minutes late you may not be allowed to join- It’s not fair to all the other groups that arrived on time and are waiting for you.

    Helpful Hint: It never hurts to arrive a bit early. There are always last-minute details you can take care of and there is a fun SpeleoBox to crawl through.

  • What will happen on the day of our ADVENTURE Tour?

    • Your group will arrive at Cumberland Caverns and assemble outside our gift shop.
    • Your Party Leader will check-in with the gift shop counter-They need to confirm the full names & number of people in your group so we can confirm the proper liability waivers have been completed. After check-in you will receive final instructions.
    • Overnight cavers will be escorted by their tour guides to the campsite DEEP inside the cave.
      • Overnight Adventurers will drop off their things at camp and go straight into their adventure tour! This means you should be wearing the clothes you expect to get muddy BEFORE being escorted into the cave. Staying together and organized will keep you on schedule and insure you don’t have other activities cut short!
    • Before ALL ADVENTURE tours your guide will make you crawl through a test box  (12″x33″) to make sure you will fit through the cave. They will then outfit you with a helmet and headlamp.
    • Your caving tour guide will give review the rules & instructions for safe caving that were sent with your confirmation email, and they will lead you through a caving adventure!
    • You MUST stay with your guide & tour group at all times!
    • Any vandalism in the cave, such as writing on the walls, is subject to prosecution.

    Helpful Hint: Don’t forget to eat a light meal or snack before arrival — you’ll need the energy!

  • What is your cancellation policy?

    Standard policy is there are no cancellations or refunds. Just the same as a concert ticket, once you have purchased a reservation we have likely turned away other groups because you held those spots. Cancellation Policy varies by the tour type you have purchased. We incur all the same expenses from preparing for your activity and have already ordered food, supplies and spent time preparing for your arrival sometimes days to weeks before you are here.

    Overnight Adventures may be rescheduled or issued credit for a future reservation -once- with a 10-day advance notice. A $10 cancellation fee applies if you cancel an Overnight Adventure Package with less than 10 day but a minimum 2 day notice. Cancellations less than 2 days in advance and no-shows receive no credit.
    Daytime Adventure tours may be rescheduled or issued credit for a future reservation -once- with a 48 hours advance notice. A $10 cancellation fee applies if you cancel less than 48 hours but a minimum of 2 hours notice. Cancellations with less than 2 hours notice and no-shows will receive no credit.
    Walking Tours may be rescheduled or issued credit for a future reservation -once- with a minimum 2 hours notice. No-shows are ineligible for any future credit.

    IF someone is unable to attend last minute you may substitute a different participant in their place. If this is an activity that requires a waiver we will need to clear out the waiver for the person who is not attending to open up a blank waiver for the substitute, so please call us immediately! Please note all tours are subject to availability, which can change by the minute.

    No-Shows and last minute cancellations are NOT eligible for rescheduling, vouchers or gift certificates.

    All credit can ONLY be issued in the name of the person who paid for the reservation. All credit is issued in the form of a digital gift card code that is good for a maximum of 2 years from the original reservation date. Credit is only issued if the above policies are met, and must be redeemed PRIOR to the expiration date. Cancellation fees apply according to the schedule above and your gift card may be less a cancellation fee of $10 per person. These gift card codes are good ONLY for future tours booked in advance and are NOT valid for food or merchandise. They are issued at the discretion of management and are NON-TRANSFERABLE.
    For questions or rescheduling, please contact us: 931-668-4396 ext 100 to leave a message or rsvp -at- cumberlandcaverns.com

  • I’m a bit claustrophobic. Will I enjoy the tours?

    • The Discovery Walking Tour goes through large passages inside the cave and is done upright, walking the entire way — there are no narrow passages or crawling involved.
    • The caving tours have moments of tight squeezes and do require an adventurous spirit.
    • Our guides test everyone beforehand to make sure you can fit so there will not be anyone getting stuck in the cave passageways.
    • You should alert your adventure guide if you are nervous or if you get uncomfortable during your trip.

    Helpful Hint: With a big group of friends along with you, the caving tours won’t seem that intimidating. It will become a great adventure, something to conquer – not to fear!

  • What can I expect on a Discovery Walking Tour?

    • Mildly strenuous with uneven, natural dirt floor and 350 stone cut steps over to see the light show.
    • MUST stay with guide at all times. Can not leave tour without a guide escorting you, and the whole tour group, out of the cave.
    • Approximately 1.5 miles and takes about 1.5 hours to complete.
    • A focus on the natural features of Cumberland Caverns and caves at large: Wildlife, geology, bats, and more!
    • View of the World-Famous Volcano Room and iconic Chandelier from above and below!
    • Good lace-up walking shoes are recommended.
    • The cave is 56 degrees year-round with 99% humidity.
    • No reservations are required for the Discovery Walking Tour.
    • Group rates are available for groups over 20 people paying in a single transaction.
    • A minimum of TWO guests is required for a tour to depart. If you are traveling solo please call ahead to find out the best time to add in with another group.
    • Tours are scheduled throughout the day – Click “Book Now” to see the calendar of availability for each tour.