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“Awesome Experience”

Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Grangeville, Idaho
Level Contributor
70 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Awesome Experience”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

My family just took the tour of the Lewis and Clark Caverns near Three Forks MT and had an awesome time. The paved trail up to the entrance to the cave is approx. 3/4 miles long with an elevation gain of 300 feet. The hike up is pretty strenuous if you are not in shape. It was awful hard on my knees. There are benches periodically on which to rest if needed, however, few are in the shade when the afternoon sun kicks around to the trail side of the mountain. The trail back down the mountain from the exit of the cave is a much easier walk, however, it is not paved, but is dirt and gravel. There are no rest rooms along the trail or in the cave, so you need to take care of business before you start up the trail. You will also want to take a bottle of water along for your hike up as there are no drinking fountains once you leave the visitor center. There are garbage cans at the top for empty water bottles. For those who are able to make the trek up to the mouth of the cave, the tour is well worth the effort. The tour of the cave itself is awesome. It is amazing how many different looking features their are. You will have to descend down a lot of stairs as well as ascend them, and there is one place where you have to slide down a narrow tunnel like area, but it's only a short distance. You will do a lot of ducking and dodging. The guides are very knowledgeable and the one we had, had an awesome sense of humor. I don't recommend this for people with small children as I have done this tour several times and each time have seen frightened children, or folks struggling to get their children through the tour safely. In my humble opinion, if you have small children, either take them in a front pack or leave them at home for your own enjoyment. It really is best if you have your hands free in case you slip. The cost of the tour is really extremely reasonable and the tour is well worth every dime. I've don't other activities and attractions where you pay much more, but get way less of an experience. The Lewis and Clark Caverns are a must see attraction.

Visited August 2013
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2 Thank Sue L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“WOW!”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

The caverns were amazing! My 10 yr old son loves caverns, so every chance we get, we try and visit one. This one was wonderful! Bats! Rock slide! and lots of tight spots. an adventure to say the least. That's all on top of the stalagmites and stalagtites. Really great trip!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank seckberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Butte, MT
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Hope you are in shape!!”
Reviewed September 2, 2013

Very neat, must see! As other reviews have stated: they say it's a 1/4 mile hike but I'm sure it's longer than that! The trail is uphill on the side of the mountain and in the afternoon sun it's fairly strenuous. I would caution older folks or people who may have knee problems. We did it at 11 am and we were hot and sweaty by the time we reached the caverns. The inside of the caverns are about 50 degrees and after a hike I doubt you will want a sweatshirt. Once inside the caverns you will have to go up and down many stairs, bend, stoop and even sit down and slide on one section, no crawling through anything but if you are claustrophobic you may have some issues. The tour guide (Derrick) was great, very funny and knowledgeable. They do have a kennel you can keep your dog in while on the tour. Would recommend!

Visited September 2013
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3 Thank Lisa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
161 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“A workout, but worth the sights.”
Reviewed September 2, 2013 via mobile

If you are in bad shape, you may want to skip this. I say this as someone in relatively good shape who's still sore from climbing 300 feet up and then crawling, sliding and ducking through the caves. The sights are fantastic, but it's taxing. Our guide was great and there's a cafe/ gift shop that was nice. I'm six feet tall and fairly hefty, but I didn't have much issue with the tight space. Kids around 9 or 10 will absolutely love it.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank rj7341
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Unique experience”
Reviewed August 30, 2013

Start the tour with a 3/4 mile hike up the mountain gaining 300 feet - not terrible if you're in shape, but strenuous under the sun (there are benches for resting). Upon making it to the entrance you will be greeted by natural air conditioning (temperature stays around 50 degrees 24/7). You will likely see a few bats (they are somewhat shy) and then start your descent inside the guts of the mountain. Even though most of the staircases are quite good, you will need to be sure footed in certain areas. Not recommended for someone who cannot duck and go on all fours, slide down a 5ft rock slide, squeeze in between crevices, claustrophobics and vertigo sufferers (there is a 90 ft drop). If you qualify or can get past your natural apprehension to be 500 ft below ground, you will be greeted by some of the most amazing natural constructs anywhere. You will learn a bit of the story of the caves, when the initial tours were done by horse and candle light. And you will experience complete darkness which is not something you can easily experience anywhere else. The guides are super cool and if you have a daring group of people, you may even get spooked a bit (but the guides cleverly gauge the "personality" of the group to ensure no one has a bad time so YMMV if people around you are uncomfortable with the ambience). There's plenty of oxygen to breathe normally, but as air takes time to recirculate through the cavern, your freshest air will be with the first tour at 9:20sh in the morning. Last tour departs at 4:30PM. The tour takes 2 hours. Strongly recommended.
You can stay in the campground at the foot of the mountain. It is not the greatest campground ever but it has some very nice touches such as a kiddie playground in excellent shape, a few cabins (I believe 3), about 9 campsites with electricity and a bunch of regular campsites with a back in space for your car or full size RV. Very flat, so that is welcome for tent campers! We had really strong winds during the night, but other than the noise from the wind, no other inconvenience. It is technically bear country, so leave your food in the car. You may make reservations but in our case we just found an available spot (there are green cards posted and you self-pay via envelope - cash or checks accepted). $23 for the campsite which includes the price of entering the park (I think $5 for non MT residents, free for residents). Although there is nothing to do there that I could see other than touring the caverns, for which you need to pay $10 per adult and $5 for children over 6 (under go free). Definitely worth it! (And no, Lewis and Clark never even heard of these caverns - they were just named in their honor)

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank fdkaplan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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