Top Ten Tips for Visiting Russell Cave

A male ranger points over a gray boardwalk as a group of visitors watch on.

NPS Photo

Plan Like a Ranger

Use the following list make sure you are as prepared as possible before coming to visit Russell Cave National Monument.  

The first thing you should do before coming to visit Russell Cave is to learn about our park and what to expect.  It’s important to know that you will NOT be entering the cave, but rather walking to its entrance and seeing an ancient archeological site that dates to 10,000BCE.  You can explore our website to learn more about the deep history of the park. 

As you prepare for your visit, it’s important to know the times and availability of the park.  Our park grounds are open from 8:00AM CT to 4:30PM CT.  For more specific hours and directions, visit our website.

It’s important to know that Russell Cave DOES NOT have cell service or Wi-Fi within the park boundaries. So be sure to download the new National Park Service App before you get here.  If you go to the Russell Cave page in the app you can save the park for offline use, meaning all the information and self-guided tour will be available to you when you get here.   

If you’re visiting us on a weekend, be sure to plan some time to visit our demonstration area.  Rangers will be presenting different prehistoric skills such as throwing with an atlatl, fire-starting, and flint-knapping.  Visit our calendar to find specific days and times for these demos.

In addition to our regularly scheduled demonstrations, Russell Cave will also offer special topic talks, walks, and demos.  Rangers will present a variety of information about all kinds of topics related to Russell Cave including wildlife, geology, medicinal plants, and so much more.  Keep an eye on our calendar and Facebook page for these upcoming special events.

While Russell Cave is a great place to learn about the lives of prehistoric people, it can also be a fun and challenging place to recreate.  During your visit, plan to hike our 1.2-mile hiking trail, or cut it down to 0.2-miles on our nature trail.  Both are considered strenuous as they take you straight up the mountain and back down on an old asphalt loop.  Be prepared with hiking shoes, bug spray, and plenty of water if you plan to take this trip.

Whether you plan to brave our hiking trail or just stroll out to the cave, it is still important to keep safety in mind.  Here at Russell Cave we can see several kinds of snakes and ticks throughout the year, so we ask visitors to be mindful of this during their visit.  You can learn more about some safety tips on our website.

Our park is very welcoming to you and your pets during your visit.  In fact, we even encourage your pets to participate in our BARK ranger program, where they can earn their own special bark ranger tag. 

Kids of all ages (even just kids at heart) can work on and complete one of our Junior Ranger books and earn an official Russell Cave Junior Ranger badge.  Our current book can be downloaded on our website or you can pick one up from a ranger in the visitor center when you arrive.

If you are traveling with a group or have a group interested in learning more about our park from afar, we even have some options for you.  Check out our education page to learn about all that we have to offer.

Russell Cave National Monument

Last updated: June 24, 2021