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Venture off the beaten path

Plan Your Visit

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Discover Cumberland Caverns, America’s Greatest Caving Adventure

With over 27 miles of passageways, incredible underground rock formations, beautiful underground waterfalls, and gleaming pools, there is fun for adventurers of all skill levels and ages.

We offer THREE categories of tours: Walking Tours, Adventure Tours and Overnight Packages, with four tour options in each category, making a total of 12 tour options!

Our 4 different WALKING TOURS are informative, guided tours for the whole family. They are led along a walking path and range from 45 minutes up to 2 hours! You won’t get muddy on these tours, but your guide will WOW you with amazing facts. Our tours are meant to compliment each other, so if you have the time we recommend taking multiple tours to get the most of the story! Choose the CARDWELL tour if you love history and/or need the easiest walking tour we offer. Choose the DISCOVERY tour if you love wildlife and geology and want to have a bit more of a hike with 350 uneven, natural stone steps to see the largest room in the cave. Choose the LANTERN tour if you want to see the cave by lantern light, or go all out by reserving a PRIVATE tour at least 10+ days in advance.

ADVENTURE TOURS are where you get down and dirty. We will let you borrow a helmet and headlamp, you bring the gloves and kneepads. We have FOUR options ranging from moderate to extreme! The HALL CRAWL is great for families with younger kids (ages 6+) but beware – we find all that muddy crawling is much easier for our kiddos than for the full-grown humans! The HIGGENBOTHAM is a great option for first time adult cavers or those with kids ages 11+. It is a through trip that starts at the historic Higgenbotham Cave entrance and goes all the way into the Volcano Room and out the Henshaw Cave entrance, retracing the steps of explorers from the 1800s and early 1900s. Ready for the EXTREME options? Test your stamina and strength on THE CRUCIBLE or take the MOST extreme and longest adventure tour available, GUTS AND GLORY . These two EXTREME tours are for ages 16+ in good athletic shape only.

OVERNIGHT PACKAGES are the perfect activity for scout groups, youth groups, or any group looking to have a team building activity and get the unique experience of sleeping overnight in the cave. We have FOUR options, and the prices are designed for groups of 10+ only. The MUDDY MAYHEM is perfect for ages 6+, the SKYLIGHT SLEEPOVER is for ages 11+ looking for a little more adventure, and the INTO THE DARK and LIGHTS OUT package are only for those ages 16+. Make sure to read the detailed itineraries listed on each tour page to decide which option is right for you!

Family and Tour Guide Standing at Cave Entrance Explore Cumberland Caverns

What to Expect - All Tours

The cave is a consistent 56 degrees with 99 percent humidity year-round. We have a variety of tours.

ALL tours are guided. You may not enter the cave without a guide.

Chewing gum, food & drink, laser pointers, tobacco or vaping products, weapons, dogs/pets, and large bags or backpacks are PROHIBTED on all tours.

Walking Tours are guided along the lit portions of the cave. These tours are where you will learn the most about the cave and see the beautiful, well-lit portions. Wearing comfortable hiking shoes is highly recommended as there are stairs and uneven slopes. There will be no place to sit for most of the tour, so expect to be on your feet the entire duration. Bring a camera to take lots of photos! (NO FLASH PLEASE) Chewing gum, food and drink, flashlights, weapons, large bags, backpacks, pets/animals and laser pointers are prohibited.

Adventure Tours are guided tours where you wear a helmet and headlamp provided by Cumberland Caverns. These involve crawling, climbing and squeezing through muddy, dark portions of the cave. Anything you bring with you should fit in your pockets or a small pack, as you will need your hands free for safety as you move through the cave. Caving participants may bring their camera to take photos (NO FLASH) at their own risk. Chewing gum, food & drink, laser pointers, tobacco or vaping products, weapons, animals of any kind, and large bags are prohibited.

Once you are in the cave the only way out is THROUGH the cave.

What to Wear: Adventure Tours

While you gear up for these caving adventures, we recommend wearing comfortable, durable clothing that you’re not afraid to get a little dirty. We will let you borrow our helmet for the trip, and provide a headlamp, but make sure to wear appropriate clothing. When you make your reservation the confirmation email will contain a detailed attachment listing what is required and what is prohibited.

Bring gloves, wear long pants, and dress in layers. A t-shirt and sweatshirt usually work best. All explorers are required to wear lace-up shoes or boots, gloves and long pants.

Gloves are required, so make sure to bring a pair (Must cover whole hand, NO fingerless gloves allowed)! Knee pads are HIGHLY recommended.

Smiling Young Girl in cave

What to expect on a WALKING tour?

  • Make sure you arrive AT LEAST 15 minutes prior to your tour time. Go straight to the front desk to check in, the cashier will look up your reservation and give you the tickets you will need to get on your tour. LATE ARRIVALS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO JOIN THE TOUR. You will be moved to the next available tour time.
  • You will hear a FIRST CALL for your tour to line up 10 minutes prior to tour time. You should hang out in the hallway area of the gift shop with a big sign that says "CAVE TOURS LINE UP HERE". Have your tickets ready for the guide to collect. This is the perfect time to use the restroom, because once you are on tour there are no available restrooms until you return back to the gift shop. Make sure to finish up any food or drink, leave backpacks, weapons, vapes, cigarettes, and large bags behind in yours vehicles, and spit out your gum. All of these items are prohibited on the tour.
  • The LAST CALL is made for walking tours 5 minutes prior to tour time. At this time your guide will come collect your ticket stubs and have you gather on our back porch where a rules video is playing. It is REQUIRED for you to watch this rules video before your tour.
  • Your tour will then promptly begin at the tour time, after the rules video has already played through.
  • If you arrive late we will do our best to move you to the next available tour time.
  • Wear shoes you would be comfortable hiking in - There are steep slopes even on the easiest walking tour.

*Special Note: There is no where to sit along the tour routes, so you can expect to be on your feet most of the tour. Nature did NOT make the cave handicap-accessible. For everyone’s safety, no wheelchairs, walkers or strollers are allowed inside the cave.

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Helpful Hint: Don't forget to eat a light snack before arrival - you'll need the energy! While there are restrooms near your sleeping area, there are NO restrooms during your adventure tour. You will need to go the duration of the adventure tour with no restroom!

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What to Expect - ADVENTURE Tours

Your group will arrive at Cumberland Caverns and assemble outside our gift shop.

The party leader for your group will check in at the gift shop counter, confirm the number and names of all in your group, and receive tickets and instructions on where to meet your guide. Make sure to use the restroom! There are NO restrooms available during an adventure tour, so you will need to be able to make it the entire duration of the tour without facilities.

Your trained caving guide will make sure everyone can fit through the TEST BOX! The test box is 12″x33″. We can NOT tell you over the phone if you will fit or not. Everyone’s body is built differently and height/weight are not good indicators of whether you will make it. If you aren’t sure we suggest making a carboard or wooden frame that is 12″x33″ before purchasing an adventure tour ticket. If you can’t fit through a box this size you will be unable to participate in the adventure tour. We will do our best to switch you to an appropriate walking tour.

Your Caving Tour guide will then give the group a review of the SAFE CAVING practices that were sent to you by email, verify that you are wearing appropriate clothing/gear  for the tour, and then you’re off to explore and discover the cavern.

Before beginning the caving tour, you will be suited up with an official helmet and headlamp. Please read your confirmation email to make sure you have the right clothing! Gloves are required to participate in adventure tours. Knee and elbow pads are encouraged, but not required.

Man crawling through rocks to outside area of Caverns Kids walking through a narrow passage in the Caverns with hats and lamps on Kid squatting and smiling for a photo in the caverns Woman using a rope to walk up the side of a cliff inside the caverns

What to Expect - Overnight Adventure Packages

  • You will carry your gear 1/2 mile from the parking area to the cave, so pack light! You will not be able to return to your car after we are inside the cave. Please make sure to have everything you need and can carry it in one trip.
  • Gloves are REQUIRED in order to participate in the adventure tour portion
  • Adventurers will not leave the cave until 9 am the following morning and can not leave the cave without a guide escorting you out.
  • Eat a light snack prior to arrival (there is no access to restrooms during the adventure tours… it is a natural cave)
  • Dinner at the Cave Café may not be available until late, after you’ve completed your tour(s).

What do I need to bring on an OVERNIGHT adventure package?

  • Cash for the snack bar — We have credit card machines, but we are 333′ underground and sometimes technology does not cooperate. Outside food, candy, gum, and drink is prohibited.
  • A backpack or duffel bag packed with all of your gear.
  • Caving clothes: Sturdy, closed-toe, closed-heel shoes, gloves and long pants
  • 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. 
  • Plastic bag for dirty clothes — You will get wet and muddy!
  • Sleeping bag, ground cloth (tarp, plastic), or mat. 
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Helpful Hint: You are staying inside the cave
overnight, so bring warmer clothes to sleep in.

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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. There are limited outlets and most campsites will NOT have electric access. Please tell the reservation manager upon booking if you require a plugin for a CPAP machine, and we will make sure you are accommodated.

Wish Upon a Stalactite