Raccoon Mountain Caverns

Raccoon Mountain Caverns, Chattanooga: Hours, Address, Raccoon Mountain Caverns Reviews: 4.5/5

Raccoon Mountain Caverns
4.5
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
Raccoon Mountain Caverns is located just 1.3 miles off of I-24 at the Lookout Valley exit (#174), and is less than ten minutes from downtown Chattanooga. Visitors are presented with a cave in its natural state and our 45-minute (+/-) Crystal Palace Walking Tour allows them to view thousands of diverse formations - stalagtites, stalagmites, delicate soda straws, flowstone, rimstone pools, draperies, columns, natural bridges, and a rare shield formation. We also offer a variety of wild cave "spelunking" expeditions for those who want to view beyond the lighted pathways and explore deeper into the mountain. Our Waterfall Dome expedition permits visitors to view the areas tallest underground, natural (unassisted) flowing waterfall.
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4.5
1,866 reviews
Excellent
1,513
Very good
272
Average
53
Poor
14
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14

Jeffrey Koslowski
Canton, MI618 contributions
May 2022
I didn't really know anything about caves. I was really hoping that this tour would give me a good grounding on cave ecology. Luckily, our guide Corey gave it to us. This is an excellent location if you are looking to not only learn about caves and the biology tied to it.

The tours are fairly small and might be able to accommodate you if you need to switch times. Each of the groups we saw set off with a maximum of 15 people. Parking is on-site and pretty available. There is a brief walk from the lot to the registration area/gift shop but since you are walking through a cave, it's not that big of a deal. Our guide, Corey, stressed to us in a respectful manner that we should keep our hands to ourselves and what happens when we touch the formations. This to me was a fascinating and educational way to tell us to not touch anything.

The tour isn't terribly long but since the group is small, you get a good grounding in what the formations are called, how to tell the difference between them, and what happens if you mess with them. Corey showed us examples of how human involvement has affected the cave formation. That said, it has the fancy colored lights, funny names for formations, and even a few random salamanders.

You should come out of your experience with a fuller understanding of cave life. Corey even stayed after to talk with us and answer all the questions we had. We really enjoyed our experience here and would recommend this for any amateur biologists and ecologists.
Written June 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amanda C
2 contributions
Jan 2021 • Family
We came to Chattanooga without a real plan...just for last minute weekend away before going back to school and work. Unfortunately, when we got ready to go to Rock City and Ruby Falls, we realized they were sold out of tickets due to COVID-19 limiting ticket availability. We looked online for other options and these caverns popped up. We weren’t quite sure what to expect but it was a WONDERFUL experience. Our tour guide, Landon, was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. He made the tour fun for all of us. Personally, I would have preferred no Christmas decorations but my 7 year old LOVED them and said it was the best part, lol. My 11 and 15 year old daughters are interested in coming back when they resume the wild cave tours.
I’m actually glad Ruby Falls was sold out because we probably wouldn’t have taken the chance on Raccoon Mountain Caverns otherwise.
I highly recommend this tour.
Written January 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bethoc
Auburn, AL342 contributions
Jul 2020
Our family really enjoyed this experience but it was a bit confusing at first. You need to CALL ahead of time and reserve a time and pay over the phone before visiting this attraction. When you drive up look for the white TENT. Park close to it and check in there. Make sure to get your mask out of the car when going up. You'll wait there and your tour guide will come and get you to bring you to the recently vacant gift shop to enter the cavern. Masks must be worn the entire time; no expections. She was a great tour guide and very knowledgable about both the history of the attraction as well as animals which can be seen inside. Especially for the kids she pointed her flashlight to several rare salamanders and one bat you could see inside. We were happy to hear that there were more areas of the cave that are extended tours that can be taken later in the year too. She thoughtfully pointed our attention to several low rock sections so no one would get clocked by the tough rock ahead the guests. The tour was about 40 minutes and lots of fun for our son and us alike. So glad we booked this experience when visiting the Chattanooga area. There ARE cabins you can stay in too but they were a bit too pricey so we chose a budget hotel outside the area instead.
Written August 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

susansname
Atlanta, GA80 contributions
Nov 2020 • Solo
I appreciated the safety measures they have in place, which include sanitizing the handrails along the cave path. I was able to join a group of just four people, which made this tour so much more enjoyable than when a guide is trying to manage a herd of people. Kyland (I hope I’m spelling his name correctly) was patient, friendly, and demonstrated not only knowledge of the cavern but a genuine respect for the resource. He took extra time and care to locate cave salamanders that were so tiny, we would never have spotted them on our own.

The Crystal Palace tour isn’t long in distance, but the formations are spectacular and Kyland gave our group plenty of time to enjoy each “room” and tunnel. He showed us the small tunnel entrances that are explored on the Wild Cave tours that he especially loves.

I appreciate that guests at Raccoon Mountain are asked not to touch the formations, and that the reasons are explained. This is an extraordinary place, millions of years old and still being created by the slow drips of water through the mountain above you. A careless touch could destroy something irreplaceable, and there are some other privately owned cave tours that don’t encourage guests to respect the fragile surfaces.

Kylend, if you read this don’t forget to look for the film “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” online. You’ll see the 40,000 year old footprint of a child who explored deep inside a cave as you did growing up. Never lose your love of what you do!

Written November 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Debbie M
1 contribution
Jun 2021
I am sorry to say that even though the cave is amazing the tour guide was not. There were fifteen people on the tour and the guide seemed to cater to the family of five that shoved ahead for the entire tour. The guide shined his flashlight on formations and critters before the rest of us could even catch up and then he moved on. Finally, I could not contain myself and I told him how I felt. He apologized and continued to to the same thing for the rest of the tour. I decided to go to the office and tell the person in charge about this particular tour guide. As I went to open my mouth, I realized it was the same guy. So when he said, How did you enjoy the tour?" I reiterated that I tried to keep up with the first five people and he had moved on with his all telling flashlight before I could see what he was showing this "party of five." I would not go again. But recommend people chose a guide other than Landon because the caverns are worth it.
Written July 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Shane G
Smyrna, GA769 contributions
Feb 2022 • Friends
What a great adventure touring the caverns. It was rainy outside however it was beautiful inside. The guide guides you on a 45 minute visual and learning experience snd it's worth the price of admission.
Written March 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Scott F
Groton, MA2 contributions
Oct 2021 • Friends
5 Star- highly recommend. Darius was an excellent, knowledgeable tour guide which made the cave experience outstanding for our family of 6 (all adults). Amazing natural geological structures and history. Worth a visit!!!
Written October 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Javert87
Germantown, TN4 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
My family thoroughly enjoyed our tour today. Landon was a very passionate and extremely educated tour guide, clearly not simply memorizing a script. My claustrophobic wife felt very comfortable throughout the tour. There were no elevators to ride or passing tour groups along the way. I am so glad we chose Raccoon Caverns to visit.
Written July 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Heather S
North Salt Lake, UT10 contributions
Dec 2020
What a fantastic tour of a beautiful cave! Kylend was a fantastic guide and had so much knowledge of the cave, the history, and all the formations. He explained the various formations in a way that we could all understand (our five year old was excitedly pointing out pillars by the end of the tour). He even made sure my 6'7" tall husband didn't hit his head once.

We were very glad we took this tour before visiting Ruby Falls so we could enjoy the features we were whisked by in there (the Ruby Falls guides will not take time to educate you on the formations at all).

I highly recommend booking this tour!
Written December 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

kiwifsu
Clearwater, FL34 contributions
Oct 2020
We visited here in October where, I assume due to Covid, they were limiting reservations. They were also offering a lantern light tour, which was the only one available at the time we booked so we didn't really have another choice if we wanted to see this.
Our tour guide was very good and informative and really enjoyed his job. We didn't like the lantern light aspect of it because other than when the guide used his light, you couldn't see anything (our lights were just these little LED's that really only lit what was directly in front of you). It was meant to add to the experience and make it feel more haunted (being close to Halloween) but I feel like we missed out on seeing what the caverns really looked like since the lighting was so limited.
If we visited again, we would want to do the 'normal' cavern tour.
Written November 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Raccoon Mountain Caverns

Raccoon Mountain Caverns is open:
  • Sun - Sun 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tue - Wed 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Thu - Thu 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Fri - Sat 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM