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FAQs

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Groups

  • 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.

    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?

    • 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 names & number of people 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 with advance notice
    • To reschedule an overnight caving adventure, please notify the office at least 10 days prior to the date of your trip.
    • To reschedule a daytime caving adventure, please notify the office at least 2 days prior to the date of your trip.
    • To reschedule an easy walking tour, please notify the office at least 2 hours prior to the time of your trip.
    • A credit to be used at a later time can be issued if the above notification criteria is met
    • You can only reschedule your group a maximum of two times (with proper notice)
    • A $10 cancellation fee may be deducted from your credit for future activities if you cancel later than the schedule above
  • 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 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 tours.
    • There is a 300-person maximum capacity for overnight adventure trips, though this number varies with how many different activities are also booked the same day.

    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 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 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 with advance notice
    • To reschedule an overnight caving adventure, please notify the office at least 10 days prior to the date of your trip.
    • To reschedule a daytime caving adventure, please notify the office at least 2 days prior to the date of your trip.
    • To reschedule an easy walking tour, please notify the office at least 2 hours prior to the time of your trip.
    • A credit to be used at a later time can be issued if the above notification criteria is met
    • You can only reschedule your group a maximum of two times (with proper notice)
    • A $10 cancellation fee may be deducted from your credit for future activities if you cancel later than the schedule above
  • 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.
    • 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 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 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 tours.
    • There is a 300-person maximum capacity for overnight adventure trips, though this number varies with how many different activities are also booked the same day.

    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.

    Even our easiest tour includes some steep inclines & declines, stairs, 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 medically must have certain foods, please call (931-668-4396) for details.

  • 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).
    • Shorts should not be worn since you will be crawling on your hands and knees.
    • Gloves are required. 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.

    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 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 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?

    • 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 names & number of people 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?

    • Mildy strenuous with uneven, natural dirt floor and 350 stone cut steps 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 Discovery Walking Tour.
    • Group rates are available for groups over 20 people paying in a single transaction (this will require advance reservation).
    • 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 leave out every hour on the hour seven days a week 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.