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“Self Guided Tour Very Limited.”

Mammoth Cave National Park
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A mysterious limestone cave that has fascinated people for 4,000 years.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed June 25, 2013

I guess you get what you pay for. Do Not do the self guided tour if it is your first time and you drove awhile to get here. You really do not get to see much and it is very short. We will come back next year and do one of the longer , more expensive tours and see if they are better. We had 3 children ranging in age from 9-13 and they kept acting up so we could tell they were bored. Afterward we went to the Lost River underground cave tour and they were quite as church mice and not acting up (it was awesome). Prices at Mammoth are reasonable. Take a jacket because it is in the 50's down there ALL the time. My husband didn't want to take a jacket but thanked me later.

1  Thank Tina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,448 - 2,452 of 3,112 reviews

Reviewed June 24, 2013

They are just that, Mammoth! We did the historic tour and new Entrance tour because that is all we had time to do. I recommend the Trog tour and reserve early. We could not get in 2 weeks in advance.

Thank ditzymudgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013 via mobile

We loved the Frozen Niagara tour with Ranger Joe. I won't bother going into lots if detail about the park and cave tours, as there are tons of reviews on them already.

But I will give some insight into the cave tour reservation process. For almost all of the tours, you can reserve tickets online as long as it is 24 hours before tour time. You may pick up your pre-purchased tickets at the will-call window inside the visitor's center.

If the online tickets are sold out, don't give up yet. The park only sells up to half of the tickets for each tour online. There are always tickets available at the visitor's center on tour day. That said, be warned that you still have to plan ahead. The visitor's center opens at 8:15 am daily. I showed up at 8:00 am on a June Saturday, and I was already 30 people back in line. When the doors opened, there were probably at least 60 people in line. Luckily, not everyone is trying to take the same tour! Once inside, I waited about 10 or 15 minutes to get through the line. There were tickets remaining for the tour we wanted.

There are monitors inside the visitor's center that are updated to show which tours are sold out for the day. I recommend having your top few choices selected so you have back-up plans ready if your preferred tour isn't available.

All of the park staff we encountered were very knowledgable and helpful.

1  Thank GreenHokies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

We have lived in KY since 1989. We went to Mammoth Cave for the 1st time on June 14, 2013. We should have gone years ago so we would have had numerous trips by now. It was Outstanding. It was better than we thought it would be. There are many tours to choose from. The park is beautiful. There is enough to do to spend the night, or a couple of nights. You can ride bikes around the big park.There is a little ferry on one of the roads which is worth doing (free) even if you really don't need to go to the other side. I cannot say enough great things about Mammoth Cave. Be sure to read about the tours if you have problems with steps or claustrophobia so you can decide what is right for you.

1  Thank jschaberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

Realizing none of our 3 kids (all born and raised in KY) had yet been to Mammoth, we ventured out for the day to visit. It is an easy drive from Louisville (1.5 hours from East Louisville). The visitor center had been upgraded greatly since we last visited - -very nice with two dining areas (casual and dining room - - but both the same menu) and two gift shops. If you are traveling with kids (ours are 12, 10 & 7), be sure to stop at the ranger desk and get the Junior Ranger books. Your kids fill out the games, puzzles and info while they wait for their tour or as they go, and earn their junior ranger badge and certificate upon completion - - only offered in National parks. All 3 of my kids were excited to get their badge.

The amount of tours may be confusing and it is a bit frustrating that you can't reserve the day of your trip. However if you are a first time visitor, do the Historic or the New Entrance (both if you have all day). The historic tour takes you through the VASTNESS of Mammoth and gives lots of interesting facts, history and info about the cave. There are no interesting stalagmites or stalagtites or many "living" things in this part of the cave, as it is mostly dried in passages. Fat Man's Misery and the large domed rooms are the highlight of this trip. If you want to see the beauty of the caves (the living stalagmites and stalagtites and drapes, etc), do the New Entrance tour. It gives you more of a feel of the beauty of the caves. My husband and I have been many times and it is one of our favorite tours. If you have time to do both tours, do the history first and then break for lunch and do the New Entrance tour in the afternoon. It gives you a feel for all aspects of the cave.

There is also a tour for kids ages 8-12 where they put on the suits and the hard hats with lights and go into areas of the caves adults can't really go easily. We saw this group (about 10-12 of them) as we were touring this time and they seemed to be having a blast. My kids want to go back and do that tour now!!

The area surrounding the caves is gorgeous too. If you have time to stay and enjoy the park, do it. The horseback riding (we did this years back) is really nice. There are lots of natural rocks that you can find near the streams and rivers that, when broken open, reveal beautiful geodes inside. We always try to grab a few as we hike so we can split them open at home with a chissel and hammer to see what is inside.

5  Thank luv2gogogo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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