Fall 2019

Fall view from the Green River Bluffs Trail
Fall view from the Green River Bluffs Trail.

Photo from B. Carson files

The busy days of summer are soon forgotten as the park slips into fall. The thick green woodland transitions into a landscape of beautiful autumn colors. Radiant reds, gushing golds, pretty purples, and amazing oranges blanket the tree canopy. Hikers can enjoy the vibrant nature trails. Canoeists can lazily drift down the Green River in a corridor of color. The underground world of the park also changes as a variety of specialty tours access other parts of the cave. Whether above or below ground, the fall is a wonderful time to visit Mammoth Cave National Park. Feel free to come and join us and experience your America!


Our fall schedule runs September 29 - October 26, 2019. The Visitor Center hours are 8:00 a.m. - 6:00p.m. Central Time.

Be advised: During the fall season the park is a very popular destination for school trips and other parties. As a result, your tour may include other group(s) of various ages.

Tickets are required to enter Mammoth Cave. Reservations are not required, but are strongly recommended. Cave tours frequently sell out and reservations are the only way to ensure a spot is available for you and/or your party. Please plan accordingly. 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 fall. 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.
 
Cave Activity Departures
Frozen Niagara Tour 9:15, 11:30, 2:30, 4:15
Domes & Dripstones Tour 9:30, (10:00 Sunday), 11:00, 12:00, (12:45 Sunday), 2:00
Historic Tour 10:00, 12:45, 1:45, 3:15, (3:45 Sunday)
Violet City Lantern Tour 2:15
Great Onyx Lantern Tour 3:30
Mammoth Cave Accessibility Tour 9:30, 1:30 Saturday & Sunday
Extended Historic Tour 10:30, 2:45
Gothic Avenue Tour 9:15, 12:30
River Styx Tour 8:45
Surface Walks & Programs - Free of Charge! Departures
Heritage Walk 9:15, 12:30, (4:00 Saturday, Sunday)
Porch Talk 10:00, 1:00


 
The Frozen Niagara Formation.
The Frozen Niagara Formation.

Frozen Niagara Tour
The naturally decorated Frozen Niagara section remains one of the most famous at Mammoth Cave, and serves as the last stop for a variety of cave tours. While many tours require long hikes and numerous stairs to reach this point, this short tour offers a chance to visit this area with only 12 stairs. This tour is ideal for anyone with difficulty walking long distances or negotiating stairs. This tour includes a 10 minute bus ride to and from the Frozen Niagara entrance.

This section of cave is seen in its entirety on the Domes and Dripstones, Grand Avenue, Introduction to Caving and Wild Cave Tours.

Duration: 1 ¼ hours
Distance: ¼ mile (0.4 km)
Total Stairs: 12, plus an optional 98
Difficulty: Easy
Tour Capacity: 34
Price: $14 Adults, $10 Youth, $7 Special Access
Tour Times: 9:15, 11:30, 2:30, 4:15
Want to make a reservation? Click here

 
View of Broadway on the Historic Tour
View of Broadway on the Historic Tour.

Historic Tour
This classic Mammoth Cave Tour visits many of the historic areas that originally made Mammoth Cave famous. Going through tunnels that humans have used for thousands of years, this tour not only explores huge rooms that gave Mammoth Cave its name, but also descends to much tighter places deep inside the cave. Please note that this tour ascends and descends hundreds of stairs and several steep inclines, which can be difficult for many visitors, as there are no alternative routes. This tour is ideal for people with an interest in history and a sense of adventure.

Portions of this tour are also seen on the Violet City Lantern, Star Chamber and Gothic Avenue Tours. It is seen in its entirety on the River Styx Tour.


Duration: 2 hours
Distance: 2 miles (3.6 km)
Total Stairs: 540, including 155 up to Mammoth Dome
Difficulty: Moderate
Tour Capacity: 110
Price: $17 Adults, $12 Youth, $8.50 Special Access, $6 Educational Rate
Tour Times: 10:00, 12:45, 1:45, 3:15, (3:45 Sunday)
Want to make a reservation? Click here

 
Tuberculosis Hut
Remains of a 19th century tuberculosis hut seen on the Extended Historic Tour route.
Extended Historic Tour
Enjoy this Historic Tour with a bonus side trip to one of the sites of the famous 1840s Mammoth Cave experiment to treat consumption. This tour is ideal for people who want a Historic Tour and have a little extra time to spend in the cave.

Portions of this tour are also seen on the Violet City Lantern, River Styx, Star Chamber and Gothic Avenue Tours.

To view what part of Mammoth Cave this tour covers
click here.

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes
Distance: 2 miles (3.2 km)
Total Stairs: 540, including 155 at Mammoth Dome
Difficulty: Moderate
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 60
Price: $18 Adults, $13 Youth, $9 Special Access

Tour Times: 10:30, 2:45
Want to make a reservation? Click here
 
The Drapery Room on the Domes & Dripstones Tour.
The Drapery Room on the Domes & Dripstones tour.

Domes & Dripstones Tour
This classic tour visits areas of Mammoth Cave that have been used for nearly 100 years. This tour begins in a sinkhole, passes through huge domes, amazing breakdown, and ends in the dripstone section known as Frozen Niagara. Please note that this tour ascends and descends hundreds of stairs and several steep inclines, which can be difficult for many visitors, as there are no alternative routes. Focusing on the natural formation of the cave, this tour is ideal for people interested in science and wanting to see stalactites and stalagmites.

This tour includes the entire Frozen Niagara Tour route and a small portion of the Grand Avenue Tour route.

Duration: 2 hours
Distance: ¾ mile (1.2 km)
Total Stairs: 500, including 280 on the initial staircase descent
Difficulty: Moderate
Tour Capacity: 110
Price: $17 Adults, $12 Youth, $8.50 Special Access
Tour Times: 9:30, (10:00 Sunday), 11:00, 12:00, (12:45 Sunday), 2:00
Want to make a reservation? Click here

 
Accessibility tour in Cleaveland Avenue
Accessibility tour in Cleaveland Avenue

Mammoth Cave Accessible Tour

Accessibility Alert: This is an ACCESSIBLE TOUR. This tour is accessible for persons with a disability or otherwise limited physical mobility. If no one in your party needs an accessible tour, please consider selecting another tour unless this is the only tour available at the time of your request. Wheelchairs, scooters and other assistive devices are allowed. Accessible restrooms are on this tour.

Utilizing the Elevator Entrance, this tour emerges near the historic underground cafeteria known as Snowball Room. Continuing through historic Cleaveland Avenue, this tour passes through areas of the cave highly decorated with historic signatures and sparkling geological formations. This tour is ideal for people who wish to see the cave and are looking for a tour with no stairs.

Please note that no transportation or mobility assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, walkers or canes are available. NPS employees will not transport or assist visitors or visitor equipment. If visitors need assistance with the Park's accessible features, they must bring a companion with them for aid.

Participants and their companions meet at the Visitor Center for a caravan in their personal vehicles to drive approximately 2 miles to the elevator entrance. Assistive devices will need to be decontaminated upon exiting the cave to limit the spread of White Nose Syndrome.


Notice: Due to only having one elevator, this tour could be cancelled on short notice for elevator maintenance/repair.

Duration: 2 hours
Distance: ½ mile maximum (0.8 km)
Total Stairs: No stairs
Difficulty: Easy - Accessible
Tour Capacity: 14
Price: $20 Adults, $14 Youth, $10 Special Access
Tour Times: 9:30 & 1:30 Saturday and Sunday
Want to make a reservation? Click here

 
Chief City
Chief City on the Violet City Lantern Tour.

Violet City Lantern Tour
A truly historic way to experience Mammoth Cave, this tour travels exclusively by lantern light. At three hours long, this tour winds through the history and prehistory of Mammoth Cave as you wander through huge, broad tunnels. This tour climbs and descends many incredibly steep hills on historic dirt trails as you experience the cave in the light of the earliest explorers. This tour is ideal for visitors who like to hike and are wanting a unique way to experience the cave. Please note that this tour, at 3 hours long, has no restroom facilities available.

Portions of this tour are also seen on the Historic, River Styx and Mammoth Passage Tours. Only visitors age 16 and over may carry lanterns. Be prepared, as part of the historic and adventurous nature of this tour the route possesses rugged, steep hills, low lighting, uneven terrain and no handrail or electric lighting infrastructure. To preserve the nostalgic nature of this tour, the use of flashlights is prohibited.

Age Limit: 6 and over
Duration: 3 hours
Distance: 3 miles (4.8 km)
Total Stairs: 160 and numerous hills with no hand rails
Difficulty: Strenuous
Ticket Capacity: 38
Price: $20 Adults, $15 Youth, $10 Special Access
Tour Times: 2:15
Want to make a reservation? Click here
To view what part of Mammoth Cave this tour covers click here.

 
Nativity formation in Great Onyx Cave.
The Nativity Formation in Great Onyx Cave.

Great Onyx Lantern Tour
A beautiful cave in its own right, Great Onyx Cave houses a lot of beautiful geologic formations that sparkle in the lantern light of this tour. Visitors on this tour can see many stalactites, stalagmites, gypsum crystals, and helictites. This cave was also the site of very important cultural history in the early days of Kentucky cave tourism. This tour is ideal for people with an interest in cave tourism history and unusual rock formations. Please note: this tour is in Great Onyx Cave, which is separate from Mammoth Cave.

Special Notice: This cave is toured within Mammoth Cave National Park, but is not known to connect with the Mammoth Cave System.


Age Limit: 6 and over
Duration: 2¼ hours
Distance: 1 mile (1.6 km)
Total Stairs: 40
Difficulty: Moderate
Tour Capacity: 38
Price: $20 Adults, $15 Youth, $10 Special Access
Tour Times: 3:30
Want to make a reservation? Click here

 
Hundreds of signatures are left from the 1800s in Register Hall in Gothic Avenue.
Hundreds of signatures are left from the 1800s in Register Hall in Gothic Avenue.

Gothic Avenue Tour
Gothic Avenue was named because of its unusual rock formations resembling Gothic architecture, and was the site of some of the earliest 19th century tourism. Early visitors left behind signatures, artifacts, and monuments in this area of the cave, which also features stalactites and stalagmites. This tour focuses on 1800s tourism and uses of Mammoth Cave, and is ideal for people with a high interest in history.

Portions of this tour are also seen on the Star Chamber, Historic and Violet City Lantern Tours.

Duration: 2 hours
Distance: 1 ½ miles (1.6 km)
Total Stairs: 260
Difficulty: Moderate
Tour Capacity: 40
Price: $15 Adults, $10 Youth, $7.50 Special Access
Tour Times: 9:15, 12:30
Want to make a reservation? Click here

 
Dead Sea on the River Styx Tour
Dead Sea on the River Styx Tour

River Styx Tour
Following along the Historic Tour Route, this tour focuses on the unique geologic and natural history of Mammoth Cave. Including a brief side trip to the underground water level, this tour takes an in-depth look at the millions of years of formation of Mammoth Cave. This tour is ideal for visitors with a high interest in geology.


This tour includes the entire Historic Tour route with a side trip to the river level. This is a geologic and natural history activity while the Historic Tour is a cultural history program.

Duration: 2½ hours
Distance: 2 miles (3.2 km)
Total Stairs: 540
Difficulty: Moderate
Tour Capacity: 40
Price: $18 Adults, $13 Youth, $9 Special Access
Tour Times: 8:45
Want to make a reservation? Click here.
 

MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK SURFACE ACTIVITIES
Free of charge

 
Old Guide's Cemetery
Old Guide's Cemetery

Heritage Walk
This easy walk uses the 3/4 mile Heritage Trail, adjacent to the Mammoth Cave Hotel. The ranger shares stories of the old Mammoth Cave Estate and how the surface above helped shaped the stories below. Includes a walk to the Old Guide's Cemetery where former enslaved cave guide Stephen Bishop now rests.


Duration: 1 hour
Distance: ¾ mile (1.2 km)
Difficulty: Easy - handicap accessible
Trip Times: 9:15, 12:30, (4:00 Saturday & Sunday)

 
Ranger With Visitors
Ranger with visitors at a porch talk.

Porch Talk
Join a park ranger for a brief discussion on one of the many subjects relating to Mammoth Cave National Park. Topics range from the rich cultural history to one of the many disciplines associated with the park's natural history. No matter what the topic, there's surely something to learn and enjoy with this small group setting with a park ranger.

Duration: Approximately 15 minutes
Program Times: 10:00, 1:00

Last updated: October 18, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 7
Mammoth Cave, KY 42259-0007

Phone:

(270) 758-2180

Contact Us