Photo from B. Carson files
Serenity. Solitude. Sensational. These are words that aptly describe wintertime at Mammoth Cave National Park. The trees have begun their long winter's nap. The deer have on their thick coats and the squirrels are bundled up with their autumn harvest. Without leaves, the unique features that helps sustain this cave country become clear. Rocky bluffs, steep ridges, deep valleys and flat ridge tops take center stage on the landscape. If you want to feel you have the park all to yourself come take a winter hike or enjoy a back country campsite free of charge. While the surface may be subject to winter's chill, the cave becomes a warm refuge from the frosted forest. Come and explore the calm and quietness in nature that cannot be found under any roof.
Our winter schedule runs November 3, 2014 - March 13, 2015. Please note that Mammoth Cave National Park, including the Visitor Center and cave tours, is closed December 25. Safety and security personnel will continue to operate on these days, but no visitor services will be available.
The Visitor Center hours are 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Central Standard Time.
Reservations are not required, but are strongly recommended to ensure a spot on cave tours. Reservations cannot be made the same day of the tour. Adult ticket prices are for individuals 13 and up. Youth ticket prices are for visitors age 6 - 12. Unless otherwise noted, all visitors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult age 18 or over.
Unless otherwise noted, flash photography is not permitted on cave tours.
Below you will find our full selection of tour times and descriptions offered this summer. Feel free to read each one, decide which is best for you and tailor-make your own opportunity to experience the wonders of Mammoth Cave National Park.
Frozen Niagara Tour
Duration: 1 1/4 hours
Duration: 2 hours
Domes & Dripstones Tour (formerly the New Entrance Tour)
Duration: 2 hours
Gothic Avenue Tour
Portions of this tour are also seen on the Star Chamber, Historic and Violet City Lantern Tours.
Duration: 2 hours
Wild Cave Tour
In order to minimize the spread of White Nose Syndrome, a fungus that has resulted in the death of over 5.5 million bats in the eastern United States, Mammoth Cave National Park has instituted stringent cleaning procedures for all off-trail spelunking tours this summer. All equipment and outerwear including gloves will be provided by the park. Visitors must provide their own boots. No personal caving equipment allowed. No Exceptions. Shorts and t-shirt recommended for wear under required coveralls.
An adult must accompany visitors under age 18. Organized youth groups must have at least two adult representatives accompanying minor children. Chest or hip measurement must not exceed 42 inches; if you are larger you may not physically pass through the crawlspaces. Sturdy, high top, over-the-ankle lace-up boots, with lug or deeply treaded soles are recommended. Lace-up hiking boots that cover the ankle are required. Boots must have good tread. No slick-soled footwear is permitted. No tennis shoes allowed. You will not be allowed to participate in the tour if you are not wearing proper footwear - no exceptions. Please bring an extra pair of tennis shoes or sandals for use during boot cleaning at the end of the tour. There will be no food service in the Snowball Room. Visitors will need to bring their own lunch or snacks. A small fannypack is provided. Requires at least 2 participants.
Age Limit: 16 and over
Did You Know?
Creatures that spend their entire lives in Mammoth Cave adapt to the dark world. Some types of cave fish, for example, do not grow eyes – supporting these extra unnecessary organs would consume precious energy in their nutrient-poor environment.