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“Everyone should experience this adventure!!”

Raccoon Mountain Caverns
Ranked #4 of 151 things to do in Chattanooga
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed August 11, 2009

What a great family experience! I wasn't sure I could deal with being inside a cave for 4 hours, but I survived and loved it. Our guide was Jerry. We could tell that he loves what he does. He told us he's been caving for over 30 years and it shows. Jerry extremely informative and ready with answers to any questions we had. Now, on to the cave tour.
When you arrive to Raccoon Caverns you meet with your guide to go over safety and the tour itself. You're told ahead of time to wear a long sleeve t-shirt and long pants since it's cold in the cave. Your guide will give you gloves, hard hat with a light and knee pads.
In my opinion elbows pads should also be used.
You enter through the show cave. This is where people who just want to see a sliver of what a cave has to offer go to see. They have this area lit up. Then your guide has you turn on your head light and your cave experience starts. At this point I started to wonder what I had done and why had I chosen to do it for 4 hours. For some reason I had thought that the cave WAS going to be lit up. We were crawling through tiny holes, going over a canyon with a 6 to 15 foot drop, belly crawling through something called the "birth canal", looking at fossils,sitting in pitch darkness.
Whatever longsleeve shirt, pants and shoes you wear, make sure you are ready to put them in the dump. We really got muddy. But well worth it. A couple more thing: shoes, belts. The best shoes are hiking boots. My kids and I had sneakers on and a lot of areas were very slippery. My husband had his boots on and handled the slippery areas better. Don't wear belts or anything on your clothing that could did into your body as you are crawling around. I got a couple of bruises from my belt.
Truly an incredible experience that I would do again. My husband and 2 kids, 9 and 11, couldn't stop talking about afterwards. This wasn't even the main part of our trip. Go to Raccoon Caverns and ask for Jerry.

1  Thank amasmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 22, 2009

Just finished a "wild tour" with my son. We were both new to caving so the expereince was good and I definitely recommend it, but with a couple of cautions:
1) the tour guide is a crapshoot: you may get someone animated or you may get someone who is not very animated. Expect the worst and maybe you'll luck out.
2) they kind of cheat you with the timing. Our 4 hour tour was only about 2 hours of cave time, plus about 30 minutes of gear fitting and intro talk. And of the 2 hours, they spend a lot of time in the cave just sitting. (They explain this away by saying the "4 hour" title is more of a rough guide for when teh tour has a lot of people and it goes faster if there are less...hmm...)
3) you'll definitely be bruised up the next day but if an overweight 48-year-old like me could do it, you probably could too.

So....I would definitely recommend this but be very clear about how long you expect to stay in the cave. (Maybe bring a watch).

1  Thank LetsGooooooo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2009


If your vacationing in the Chattanooga area, Raccoon Mountain Caverns (RMC) should be on your to do list. Now, If your wanting a leisurely walk thru cave tour you may try Ruby Falls and RMC offers a beautiful walk through tour also, but, if your looking for a True Family Friendly “Adventure”. I highly recommend a “Wild” tour at RMC There are several tours to choose from... I would recommend the 4 hour tour. I recently took the 2 hour “Fossil Crawl” tour with my son, he’s 8 yr. old and a couple of our friends. It was definitely an awesome experience but at the end we all wished we had at least a couple more hours to spend caving. At RMC you can make your tour a private one if you have at least 4 people, and that is what we did. Craig, our guide was great, letting us set the pace and keeping the tour fun with neat facts and pointing out cool stuff. As far as physically challenging, it is a little. If your in moderate physical shape and not too much overweight you will be fine. The tour is safe enough for kids yet extreme enough to feel like a true adventure. There are some rope assisted climbs, rock slides, tight squeezes, crawls over rocks and thru tunnels ( the supplied knee pads made it nice). And you definitely want to leave your claustrophobia at the entrance. After it was all over they have nice private showers for you to clean up.

All in All, it was the highlight of our Chattanooga vacation, a little pricey, but well worth it. I created memories there with my son and friends that we’ll be talking about for years...

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2009

MANY years ago, I used to do a bit of spelunking in north Georgia and decided that while vacationing with friends it was time to introduce the 8-year-old twins to the experience. The girl and her mom did the "show cave" tour and the lad and I did the "Eco-tour" wild-cave. I've been behind a desk for too long and was sore for a couple of days but this tour was worth it! Beautiful cave, not overly-challenging with some crawling, sliding, climbing and plenty of mud. The kid loved it and so did I. Our guide, Craig, was excellent at keeping the kid happy and safe and giving me a bit of a breather here and there. I highly recommend him and any of the "wild cave" tours! Just be sure to bring that change of clothes!
Back above ground, all of the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. Nice shop with good prices. There is also a gem-panning area the kids loved. The Campground looks very well-kept. I will be back and maybe rent an RV for the trip from Florida.
Thanks to all the staff at Raccoon Mountain for a fantastic time!

Thank travelerTerri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2009

My husband and I went last May on the "Fossil Crawl" tour - a wild cave expedition that was about 2 1/2 hours, I think. We were on a trip to celebrate our 15th anniversary, so we didn't have the kids. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and had no complaints whatsoever! We are now making our plans for our family vacation so we can take the kids and go back to our favorite places in the Chattanooga area. I've been in several caves, and this one is as good as any I've been in, including Lost Sea, the one at Silver Dollar City, and the one that's most popular in the Smokies. But to me, the tour that takes you through where things are just like they've always been, where you have to crawl and climb (nothing too hard), where the only light comes from the one on your hat, THAT's the kind of tour you'll never forget! I don't remember ver many details of the caves I've been in before, and I don't remember a lot about this one in the main tour area where you walk through, but I have lots of great memories of the "Fossil Crawl!"

P.S. My husband and I were not very "physically fit" when we did the "crawl" but we were fine! Just be sure to wear old clothes and bring some clean ones to change into afterward!

2  Thank welove2learn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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