Spring 2018

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

Spring is a beautiful time of year at Mammoth Cave National Park. The forest is bursting with color, wildlife is becoming more active and the cave continues its powerful pull in luring people to explore beneath the woodland. We would love for you to join us!

Our spring schedule runs from March 10 - May 25, 2018.

The Visitor Center hours are 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Central Time.

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.

During the months of March, April and May 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.

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 spring. 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.

 

MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK ACTIVITIES SCHEDULE
Please note: Reservations for tours are always recommended. Spring Break schedules for 2018 range from March 17 - April 15. During these times the park will experience extremely high visitation and reservations may be the only way to ensure you will have a ticket for the tour you wish to experience. Please plan accordingly.

 
Spring Schedule Dates: March 10 - May 25, 2018
Cave Activity Departure Time
Frozen Niagara Tour 9:00, (9:45 Sat/Sun), (2:30 Mon-Fri), 3:15, (4:00 - Non-reservable - Day of Sale Only)
Mammoth Passage Tour (10:15 & 12:30) Sun-Fri
Historic Tour (10:30 Sat/Sun), 11:00, 3:30
Domes & Dripstones Tour 10:00, (11:30 Sat/Sun), 12:15, 1:00, 3:45
Mammoth Cave Accessible Tour 9:45, 12:45
Great Onyx Tour 2:15 Fri & Sat
Cleaveland Avenue 2:45
Grand Avenue 9:45 Mon - Fri
Wild Cave 9:00 Sat & Sun
Discovery Tour 10:00 - 2:00 Saturdays and as visitation warrants and staff is available
Surface Activities
Free of Charge
Departure Time
All Surface Activities are Wheelchair Accessible
Coffee With A Ranger 8:00 a.m. Sat & Sun
Porch Talk 10:15, (1:00 Fri/Sat), 2:00
Heritage Walk 12:15 Fri& Sat
Nature Tracks for Kids 2:30 Sat & Sun
Echo River Spring Walk 4:30
Sloan's Pond Walk 6:00 p.m. Fri & Sat
Evening Program 7:00 pm Fri & Sat
Visitor Center Hours 8:00 am - 6:00 pm Central Time

To download a printable version of the winter schedule click here.
 
Ranger with group discussing War of 1812 Saltpeter Artifacts.
Ranger discussing the War of 1812 saltpeter artifacts on the Mammoth Passage Tour.
Mammoth Passage Tour*
Visit the Rotunda, one of the largest rooms in the cave and explore a vast canyon passageway. Learn about prehistoric Native American explorers, saltpeter mining operations, and basic cave geology. This is a short introductory tour to Mammoth Cave.

Includes part of the Historic Tour and all of the Discovery Tour routes. Includes a steep outdoor hillside trail to and from the cave’s natural entrance. This tour does not see dripstone formation areas.

Duration: 1 ¼ hours
Distance: ¾ mile
Total Stairs: 160
Difficulty: Easy
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 70
Restrooms: No
Price: $7 Adult, $5 Youth, $3.50 Special Access
Tour Times: Sun - Fri: 10:15, 12:30
*This tour is offered day of sale only and therefore tickets are not available by reservation.
To view what part of Mammoth Cave this tour covers click here.
 
The Frozen Niagara formation
The Frozen Niagara formation.

Frozen Niagara Tour
Often the perfect taste of Mammoth Cave for visitors with very small children, elderly family members, or others who cannot walk long distances. Not sure you like close spaces? Have trouble walking or managing long staircases? This short visit through this very heavily decorated part of Mammoth Cave might be best for you. To reach this section of cave, this tour includes a 15 minute bus ride to and from the Frozen Niagara entrance.

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

Duration: 1 1/4 hours
Distance: 1/4 mile (round trip)
Total Stairs: 12, plus an optional 98
Difficulty: Easy
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 30
Price: $13 Adults, $8 Youth, $6.50 Special Access
Tour Times: 9:00, (9:45 Sat/Sun), (2:30 Mon - Fri), 3:15, 4:00*
*The 4:00 tour is non-reservable. Tickets availble day of tour only.
To view what part of Mammoth Cave this tour covers click here.
Want to make a reservation? Click here

 
The Historic Entrance to Mammoth Cave
The Historic Entrance to Mammoth Cave

Historic Tour
Been in other more decorative caves, but never in Mammoth Cave? This journey through the natural entrance leads to "classic" Mammoth Cave landmarks visited by writers, scientists, military figures and celebrities of the 1800s and early 1900s. A great family trip!

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
Total Stairs: 440, including 155 at Mammoth Dome
Difficulty: Moderate
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 110
Price: $14 Adults, $9 Youth, $7 Special Access, $5 Educational Rate
Tour Times: (10:30 Sat/Sun), 11:00, 3:30
To see what part of Mammoth Cave this tour covers click here.
Want to make a reservation? Click here

 
The Drapery Room on the New Entrance Tour
The Drapery Room on the Domes and Dripstones Tour.

Domes and Dripstones Tour
Take a 4 mile bus ride from the visitor center to the New Entrance to Mammoth Cave. Descend approximately 280 stairs through a dramatic series of domes and pits. Continue the journey through large Mammoth sized passages and conclude the cave experience as you take a short walk through a variety of dripstone formations. The tour exits at the Frozen Niagara Entrance to the cave where visitors board a bus for a ride back to the visitor center. It's a great way to see the many faces of some of Mammoth Cave's passage ways.

This tour includes the entire Frozen Niagara Tour route and approximately the last half-mile of the Grand Avenue route.


Duration: 2 hours
Distance: 3/4 mile
Total Stairs: 500, including 280 on the initial staircase descent
Difficulty: Moderate
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 110
Price: $15 Adults, $10 Youth, $7.50 Special Access
Tour Times: 10:00, (11:30 Sat/Sun), 12:15, 1:00, 3:45
To view what part of Mammoth Cave this tour covers click here.
Want to make a reservation? Click here

 
Accessibility tour in Cleaveland Avenue
Accessibility tour in Cleaveland Avenue

Mammoth Cave Accessible Tour
See unique gypsum formations, historic cave writing and more on accessible cave trails. Using the elevator entrance, this ½ mile round trip provides visitors with special needs an opportunity to visit the Snowball Room and includes portions of the Cleaveland Avenue Tour and Grand Avenue Tour. Wheelchairs, scooters and other assistive devices are allowed. Accessible restrooms are available in the Snowball Room.

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 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: 1/2 mile maximum
Total Stairs: No stairs
Difficulty: Easy - Accessible
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 14
Price: $20 Adults, $14 Youth, $10 Special Access
Tour Times: 9:45, 12:45
To view what part of Mammoth Cave this tour covers click here.
Want to make a reservation? Click here

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

Great Onyx Lantern Tour
Learn the legends and rumors of early community life as you travel by bus to Great Onyx Cave. The Great Onyx cave was a privately owned and operated cave along Flint Ridge until the 1960's. Discover how Great Onyx survived the Cave Wars and emerged as one of the most pristine show caves in the region. Exploring this beautifully decorated natural wonder by lantern light offers a different perspective to the multitudes of dripstone, gypsum, and helictite formations.

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
Total Stairs: 40
Difficulty: Moderate
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 38
Price: $18 Adults, $13 Youth, $9 Special Access
Tour Times: 2:15 Friday & Saturday
Want to make a reservation? Click here

 
Cleaveland Avenue
A tour group stands within the near mile long tunnel known as Cleaveland Avenue.

Cleaveland Avenue Tour
Descend nearly 200 stairs at the Carmichael Entrance, pass the craggy breakdown of the Rocky Mountains and enter gypsum-encrusted Cleaveland Avenue. This tour showcases gypsum in various crystalline shapes and sizes. The beautifully elliptical Cleaveland Avenue terminates in the Snowball Room before, viewed by visitors since the 1840s. The tour exits the cave via elevator ride from the Snowball Room back to the surface. This entire route is seen on the Grand Avenue Tour. Restroom facilities and water fountains will be available in the Snowball Room.

Duration: 2 hours
Distance: 1 mile
Total Stairs: Approximately 200
Difficulty: Moderate
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 38
Price: $16 Adults, $10 Youth, $8 Special Access
Tour Time: 2:45
To see what part of Mammoth Cave this tour covers click here.
Want to make a reservation? Click here

 
The Rocky Mountains on the Grand Avenue Tour route.
The Rocky Mountains on the Grand Avenue Tour route.

Grand Avenue Tour
This physically demanding trip will give you an excellent idea of the size and complexity of the Mammoth Cave System. Learn of the cultural and natural history of the cave and how they are interwoven as your journey takes you through some of the most dramatic passages in this "mammoth" cave. Walk through a variety of cave as you encounter gypsum lined passages, narrow canyons, steep underground hills, large rooms and ares with dripstone formations.

This tour includes the entire Frozen Niagara Tour route and all of the Domes and Dripstones Tour except for the 280 stairs descending the vertical shafts at the entrance.

Age Limit: 6 and over
Duration: 4 hours
Distance: 4 miles
Total Stairs: Nearly 700
Difficulty: Very Strenuous
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 78
Price: $26 Adults, $19 Youth, $13 Special Access
Tour Time: 9:45 (Monday - Friday)
To see what part of Mammoth Cave this tour covers click here.
Want a reservation? Click here

 
An appropriate pair of boots for the Wild Cave Tour.
An example of boots meeting requirements for the Wild Cave Tour.

Wild Cave Tour
Face the darkness - and the challenge. Journey with experienced guides and a small adult group through some of the starkly beautiful yet physically demanding "wild" areas of the cave. Climb, crawl, squeeze, hike and canyon walk in the realms of Mammoth Cave. See places no other tour encounters and feel the thrill of exploration!

In order to minimize the spread of White Nose Syndrome, a fungus that has resulted in the death of millions of 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. PLEASE READ: Sturdy, lace-up hiking boots that cover the ankle are required. Boots with zippers (where the zippers serve as part of the boot fit and support) will not be admitted on the tour. Boots must have good aggressive 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
Duration: 6 hours
Distance: 5 miles
Difficulty: Extremely Strenuous
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 14
Price: $55
Tour Times: 9:00 (Sat./Sun.)

Want to make a reservation? Click here

 

MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK SURFACE ACTIVITES
Free of charge

 
Park Ranger Hat
Coffee With A Ranger
(Wheelchair Accessible)
Start your day at Mammoth Cave by having coffee with a ranger! Join one of Mammoth Cave's park rangers as they are available to answer any questions you may have to plan your day, provide area information, or just to discuss the various opportunities visitors have to enjoy their experience in the park.

Duration: 30 minutes
Time: 8:00 Saturday Only
 
Ranger With Visitors
Ranger with visitors at a porch talk.

Porch Talk
(Wheelchair Accessible)
Join a park ranger for a brief discussion for one of the many subjects centered in 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: 10:15, (1:00 Fri/Sat), 2:00

 
Old Guide's Cemetery
The Old Guide's Cemetery along the Heritage Trail Walk.

Heritage Walk
(Wheelchair Accessible)
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 Guides Cemetery where former enslaved cave guide Stephen Bishop now rests.

Duration: 45 minutes
Distance: 3/4 mile
Difficulty: Easy - wheelchair accessible
Trip Time: 12:15 Fri & Sat

 
Park Rangers conducting activites on the Junior Ranger Nature Track program
Park Rangers conducting activities on the Junior Ranger Nature Track program.

Junior Ranger Nature Track
An activity designed for children to learn and explore more about Mammoth Cave National Park. Join park rangers in a variety of activities that enable children to discover more about the park's plants, animals, cave forming processes and the delicate balance of the ecosystem.

Duration: 30 - 45 minutes
Program Times: 2:30 Saturday & Sunday

 
Echo River Spring
Echo River Springs Walk
(Wheelchair Accessible)

Visitors of all ages can join a Park Ranger for a short and easy walk to Echo River Springs. An underground river inside Mammoth Cave surfaces at this spring and flows out to nearby Green River. The ranger will share some of the challenges of living with this karst landscape -- both on the surface and inside the cave system.

Duration: 45 minutes
Distance: ¼ mile
Difficulty: Easy
Times: 4:30
Meets at: Echo River Spring Trailhead

 
Sloan's Pond
Ranger standing at an overlook at Sloan's Pond.
Sloan's Crossing Pond Walk
(Wheelchair Accessible)
Come enjoy one of the more rare surface features of the park. Sinkoles and cavernous limestone rock often keep the surface free from ponds and standing water. However, Sloan's Crossing Pond is one of the few areas to find an aquatic ecosystem above ground. Join a park ranger for a look at the diversity of life and history in this micro-ecosystem along an accessible boardwalk.

Duration: 45 minutes
Distance: 0.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Times: 6:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday
Meets at: Sloan's Crossing Pond Trailhead
 
Campfire
Camp fire

Evening Program
(Wheelchair Accessible)
Join a park ranger for a special program at the wheelchair accessible Park Amphitheater. Programs generally begin just before dark and interpret a different topic each evening. Check at the Visitor Center information desk to learn more about available evening amphitheater programming topics.

Duration: 45 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Campfire Program Times: 7:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday

Last updated: November 4, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

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

Phone:

(270) 758-2180

Contact Us