After driving through some VERY back roads of Tennessee and Kentucky, we arrived at Mammoth Caves National Park Campground.
Guess what… It was cold and we were only one of two campers at this campground. So, we set up camp and did a quick campground workout before it got too dark! Gotta chase that pump!
Cave Tour #1
The next day we took the Domes and Dripstones Tour, which was about an hour and a half long tour way down deep into the caves. This was a really fun experience and quite different from our adventure at Wind Cave National Park a few months back.
On the tour we climbed down a bunch of stairs and it was very dark and damp inside the cave.
The highlight of this tour is at the end when you arrive at the frozen Niagara tour. This formation really does resemble a frozen waterfall and you can walk down into the dome and look up at all the crazy formations made by water entering the cave.
Cave Tour #2
Since it was off season we only had a few tours to choose from, so the next day (per a recommendation from a ranger) we opted for the Historic Cave Tour.
On the Historic Cave Tour you enter at a natural entrance (aka random large hole in the ground) and walk down a long hallway before entering a giant (and I mean giant) cave room! Words can’t describe how impressive it was and we both had to constantly remind ourselves this was not man made.
As you wind through the pathways of the historic tour you enter different cave rooms and are able to see historic cave graffiti.
These are mostly people’s names that they wrote on cave walls with the smoke from their candles. And some even date all the way back to the 1800’s.
Imagining what it would have been like to be an early explorer of these caves is crazy. So much dark!
After squeezing through (what they call) Fat Man’s Misery, we were able to see a glimpse of an underground river. It was high due to the recent heavy rainfall and in previous years had actually been raised so much that it flooded some of the cave rooms.
At the end of this tour you climb up a ton of man made steps up back up to the main level.
Mammoth Cave Conclusion
We both really enjoyed these tours and would love to come back and do the Wild Cave tour. Think hard hats and scrambling on hands and knees (and maybe bellies).
For us it was especially interesting to take two tours. They showed just how different the areas of the cave can be. I mean there are about 400+ miles of cave in this area!
If you get a chance to visit Mammoth Caves National Park we highly recommend it! The tours and tour guides where amazing!