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FAQs

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Groups

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

    • One signed release form for each adult and each child at your specified check-in time (please separate these into two groups: adult/child).
    • Any person under 18 years of age participating in the caving tour must have a release form signed by a parent or guardian.
    • You will need to make an accurate count of children and adults that will be participating on the trip.

    Helpful Hint: Releases are sent with your confirmation packet after purchase and also provided for your group on our website. 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.

  • What time will we need to check-in?

    • Daytime caving tours will be given a check-in time — this will be displayed on your confirmation notice.
    • Overnight caving tours check-in at 5:30 PM Saturday and Sunday.
    • Overnight caving tours check-in at 6:30 PM Monday – Friday.

    Helpful Hint: It never hurts to arrive a bit early. There are always last-minute details you can take care of.

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

    • Your group will arrive at Cumberland Caverns and assemble outside our gift shop.
    • Your leader will get you checked in, confirm the number in your group, and receive final instructions.
    • Overnight cavers will begin by bringing their gear to the underground campsite.
    • Before beginning the caving tour, you will be suited up with an official caving helmet.
    • Your caving tour guide will give the group instructions on safe caving, and then you’re off to explore and discover the cavern.

    Helpful Hint: Don’t forget to eat before arrival — you’ll need the energy!

  • What if my group drops out or I need to reschedule our reservation?

    • Our standard policy is that there are no refunds on caving tour reservations. However, you can reschedule your caving tour without penalty.
    • To reschedule, please notify the office at least 7 days prior to the date of your trip.
    • If you need to put your trip on hold for any reason, we will hold your reservation for up to 2 years.
    • You may reschedule your trip for your entire group up to 2 times within 2 years of the date of your original reservation.
    • As always, in the event of inclement weather, groups will be allowed to reschedule.
  • 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), and let us know how many more are coming as soon as possible.
    • 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 10-person minimum for overnight caving tours.
    • There is a 300-person maximum capacity for overnight adventure trips.

    Helpful Hint: For staffing and safety purposes, it is required that we book at least 10 total guests across all Overnight Tours on any given night. If there are less than 10 guests in your party, your booking confirmation will be dependent on the overall guest count across all parties for your requested night.

Reservations

  • 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 your group cannot notify us at least 7 days prior to the date of the trip, we will work with you to find a way to make your trip work for you at some future date.
    • If you need to put your trip on hold for any reason, we will hold your reservation for up to two years.
    • You may reschedule your trip for your entire group up to 2 times within 2 years of the date of your original reservation.
    • We do reserve the right to cancel trips for late arrival.
  • What if my group drops out or I need to reschedule our reservation?

    • Our standard policy is that there are no refunds on caving tour reservations. However, you can reschedule your caving tour without penalty.
    • To reschedule, please notify the office at least 7 days prior to the date of your trip.
    • If you need to put your trip on hold for any reason, we will hold your reservation for up to 2 years.
    • You may reschedule your trip for your entire group up to 2 times within 2 years of the date of your original reservation.
    • As always, in the event of inclement weather, groups will be allowed to reschedule.
  • 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.
    • If you prefer to fax or mail your form via snail mail, please send a reservation form with your full payment.
    • We accept American Express, Discover, Visa, Mastercard, check, or cash.
    • 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 notice.
    • Reservations are not complete until you receive a confirmation from our office.
    • If your group has a Tennessee certificate of tax exemption, please mail or scan and email a copy to info@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), and let us know how many more are coming as soon as possible.
    • 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 10-person minimum for overnight caving tours.
    • There is a 300-person maximum capacity for overnight adventure trips.

    Helpful Hint: For staffing and safety purposes, it is required that we book at least 10 total guests across all Overnight Tours on any given night. If there are less than 10 guests in your party, your booking confirmation will be dependent on the overall guest count across all parties for your requested night.

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.

  • 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. You may bring specific food items on your trip, or it may be something that we regularly stock.

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 medically must have certain foods, please call (931-668-4396) for details.

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

    • Jeans or pants are best (remember, you will be getting dirty, so not your best pair).
    • Shorts should not be worn since you will be crawling on your hands and knees.
    • 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: Gloves, knee pads, and elbow pads are 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.
    • 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. 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!

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

    • One signed release form for each adult and each child at your specified check-in time (please separate these into two groups: adult/child).
    • Any person under 18 years of age participating in the caving tour must have a release form signed by a parent or guardian.
    • You will need to make an accurate count of children and adults that will be participating on the trip.

    Helpful Hint: Releases are sent with your confirmation packet after purchase and also provided for your group on our website. 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.

What to Expect

  • 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 medically must have certain foods, please call (931-668-4396) for details.

  • 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 your group cannot notify us at least 7 days prior to the date of the trip, we will work with you to find a way to make your trip work for you at some future date.
    • If you need to put your trip on hold for any reason, we will hold your reservation for up to two years.
    • You may reschedule your trip for your entire group up to 2 times within 2 years of the date of your original reservation.
    • We do reserve the right to cancel trips for late arrival.
  • What time will we need to check-in?

    • Daytime caving tours will be given a check-in time — this will be displayed on your confirmation notice.
    • Overnight caving tours check-in at 5:30 PM Saturday and Sunday.
    • Overnight caving tours check-in at 6:30 PM Monday – Friday.

    Helpful Hint: It never hurts to arrive a bit early. There are always last-minute details you can take care of.

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

    • Your group will arrive at Cumberland Caverns and assemble outside our gift shop.
    • Your leader will get you checked in, confirm the number in your group, and receive final instructions.
    • Overnight cavers will begin by bringing their gear to the underground campsite.
    • Before beginning the caving tour, you will be suited up with an official caving helmet.
    • Your caving tour guide will give the group instructions on safe caving, and then you’re off to explore and discover the cavern.

    Helpful Hint: Don’t forget to eat before arrival — you’ll need the energy!

  • 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?

    • Moderately strenuous with 350 stone cut steps (optional) over to see the light show.
    • Approximately 1.5 miles and takes about 1.5 hours 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 “Daily Walking Tour.”
    • Group rates are available for groups over 20 people paying in a single transaction (this will require a reservation).
    • No minimum number of people to participate.
    • Tours leave out every hour on the hour Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.