Winter 2018-2019

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

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 help sustain this cave country become clear. Rocky bluffs, 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 at your national park.

Our winter schedule runs October 28, 2018 - March 22, 2019. Please note that Mammoth Cave National Park, including the Visitor Center and cave tours, is closed Christmas Day, December 25. Safety and security personnel will continue to operate on December 25, but no visitor services will be available.

The Visitor Center hours are 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Central Standard Time.

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 winter. 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 Tour Times
Frozen Niagara Tour 9:00, 12:30, 3:00
Mammoth Passage Tour 2:30
3:00 - Sat only until Nov. 24 -
also offered Nov. 23
Historic Tour 10:30
12:45 - Sat/Sun until Nov. 25 & Nov. 23 & Dec. 26 - 28
2:00 - (Sat/Sun until Nov. 25 then Sat. only -
also offered Nov. 23 & Dec. 26 - 28)
Domes & Dripstones Tour 1:30
9:45 - Sat/Sun until Nov. 25 & Nov. 23 & Dec. 26 - 28
11:00 - (Sat/Sun until Nov. 25 then Sat. only -
also offered Nov. 23 & Dec. 26 - 28)
Mammoth Cave Accessible Tour 11:30
Gothic Avenue Tour 9:30
Grand Avenue Tour 10:15 Sat only until Nov. 24 -
also offered Nov. 23
Cleaveland Avenue Tour 2:00 Sat only until Nov. 24 -
also offered Nov. 23 & Dec. 26 - 28)
All park operations are closed Christmas Day
Surface Activity Tour Times (free of charge!)
Heritage Walk 9:00 Sat/Sun until Nov. 25
Exhibit Talk 9:30 Sat/Sun until Nov. 25 then Sat only

 
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 & Dripstones, Introduction to Caving, Grand Avenue and Wild Cave Tours.

Duration: 1 ¼ hours
Distance: ¼ mile (0.4 km)
Total Stairs: 12, plus an optional 98
Difficulty: Easy
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 30
Price: $14 Adults, $10 Youth, $7 Special Access
Tour Times:
9:00, 12:30, 3:00
To view what part of Mammoth Cave this tour covers click here.
Want to make a reservation? 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 (1.2 km)
Total Stairs: 160
Difficulty: Easy
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 70
Restrooms: No
Price: $8 Adult, $6 Youth, $4 Special Access
Tour Times: 2:30, (3:00 - Sat only until Nov. 24 - also offered Nov. 23)
To view what part of Mammoth Cave this tour covers click here.

*This tour is offered day of sale only and therefore tickets cannot be purchased by reservation. This tour may also not be available due to inclimate winter weather conditions.
 
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 (3.2 km)
Total Stairs: 440, including 155 at Mammoth Dome
Difficulty: Moderate
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 110
Price: $17 Adults, $12 Youth, $8.50 Special Access
Tour Times: 10:30, (12:45 - Sat/Sun until Nov. 25 - also offered Nov. 23, Dec. 26 - 28), (2:00 - Sat/Sun until Nov. 25 then Sat only - also offered Nov. 23, Dec. 26 - 28)
Want to make a reservation? Click here

 
The Drapery Room on the New Entrance Cave Tour.
The Drapery Room on the Domes & Dripstones Tour.

Domes & 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.

Duration: 2 hours
Distance: ¾ mile (1.2 km)
Total Stairs: 500, including 280 on the initial staircase descent
Difficulty: Moderate

Ticket Availability Per Tour: 110
Price: $17 Adults, $12 Youth, $8.50 Special Access
Tour Times: (9:45 Sat/Sun until Nov. 25 - also offered Nov. 23, Dec. 26 - 28), (11:00 Sat/Sun until Nov. 25 then Sat only - also offered Nov. 23 & Dec 26 - 28), 1:30 Daily,
To view what part of Mammoth Cave this tour route covers click here.
Want to make a reservation? Click here

 
Mammoth Cave Accessible Tour in Cleaveland Avenue
Mammoth Cave Accessible 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.

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 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
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 14
Price: $20 Adults, $14 Youth, $10 Special Access
Tour Times: 11:30
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
Some areas of Mammoth Cave just seem magical, and Gothic Avenue is one of those special places. This tour begins at the Visitor Center and enters the famous Historic Entrance and passes through the Rotunda and the Church. The tour enters Gothic Avenue, one of the most historically significant passageways in the cave. This area showcases hundreds of examples of visitor experiences still visible today, from the multitude of nineteenth-century candle-written signatures to the dozens and dozens of stone monuments left behind by visitors nearly 200 years ago.

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

Duration: 2 hours
Distance: 1 mile (1.6 km)
Total Stairs: 230
Difficulty: Moderate
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 40
Price: $15 Adults, $10 Youth, $7.50 Special Access
Tour Times: 9:30
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 (1.6 km)
Total Stairs: Approximately 200
Difficulty: Moderate
Ticket Availability Per Tour: 38
Price: $20 Adults, $14 Youth, $10 Special Access
Tour Time: 2:00 (Sat only until Nov. 24 - also offered Nov. 23 & Dec. 26 - 28)
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 (6.4 km)
Total Stairs: Nearly 700
Difficulty: Very Strenuous
Tour Capacity: 78
Price: $30 Adults, $23 Youth, $15 Special Access
Tour Time: 10:15 (Sat only until Nov. 24 - also offered Nov. 23)
Want 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 ¾ 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
Difficulty: Easy - handicap accessible
Trip Times: 9:00 Sat/Sun until Nov. 25

 
Exhibit Talk
Ranger with visitors at an exhibit talk.

Exhibit Talk
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: 9:30 Sat/Sun until Nov. 25 then Sat only

Last updated: October 16, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

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

Phone:

(270) 758-2180

Contact Us