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“Lovely cave, atmosphere and Tour Guide!”

Raccoon Mountain Caverns
Ranked #4 of 150 things to do in Chattanooga
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Raccoon Mountain Caverns is located just 1.3 miles off of I-24 at the Lookout Valley exit (#174), and is less than ten minutes from downtown Chattanooga. Visitors are presented with a cave in its natural state and our 45-minute (+/-) Crystal Palace Walking Tour allows them to view thousands of diverse formations - stalagtites, stalagmites, delicate soda straws, flowstone, rimstone pools, draperies, columns, natural bridges, and a rare shield formation. We also offer a variety of wild cave "spelunking" expeditions for those who want to view beyond the lighted pathways and explore deeper into the mountain. Our Waterfall Dome expedition permits visitors to view the areas tallest underground, natural (unassisted) flowing waterfall.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Port Charlotte, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Lovely cave, atmosphere and Tour Guide!”
Reviewed 31 October 2013

Have to say this was the high point of our trip. Definitely the best cave experience in Chattanooga. Easy path to navigate. Great guide, very personable. Just stay away from the Raccoon Mountain RV Park across the street and you will do just fine.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank crsolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robert P, General Manager at Raccoon Mountain Caverns, responded to this review, 11 December 2013
Thank you very much for visiting and I am glad to hear that a visit to our cave was the highlight of your visit. We want to present a cave in its natural state so that we can show the delicate eco-system that exists within the cave. The cave formations, while impressive, as easily "damaged" by what can seem to be a harmless touch. That is because the natural oils found on our hands can easily be transferred onto the formation. We all know that oil and water do not mix and the result is an oil-film that causes the mineral rich water to runoff. Minerals are not deposited and the formation is essentially stunted for a few years until the oil eventually washes off.

I was exceedingly disappointed to learn of your comments regarding the RV park. Eric, the campground manager, asked that I personally investigate the issues that you addressed. I do not believe that he has yet responded to your comments on the RV park page but I wanted to share my findings with you.

We have many guests, both those camping and those staying in a cabin who arrive after hours. At the night registration counter where you picked up the envelope containing your cabin key and map, there was a white dry-erase board that had two after hour contact numbers. The records show that neither number was contacted. I cannot speak as to the "5 spider webs" because I was not there that night but it is possible because they do leave the porch light on as a courtesy to our guests. Otherwise, it can be quite dark and there are several steps going up to the front door. You always have to error on the side of safety. (I have checked the steps on several occasions since at night and have not observed any spider webs across the steps. I did though see one by the outside light.) At the time of your stay, the Chattanooga area was inundated with a combination of lady bugs and, making their first appearance in the area, kudzu beetles. These were undoubtedly the "60 little bugs that looked like ticks on the door." Unfortunately, the presence of these harmless bugs lasted for several days and there was nothing that we (or anyone) could do to prevent them. They were so bad at the cave gift shop one day that they were actually using a vacuum to remove them from the front door and inside windows.

I was particularly interested in your claim that the bathroom wall was "splattered with what looked like bowel movement." Cabins are typically built of rustic looking materials and the bathroom walls are constructed of laminated, knotty pine panels. The "splatter" is actually a series of small knots of the left side of the panel. They are absolutely not any type of bowel movement. I can appreciate your concerns but they are past of the panel. We actually go to great lengths to make sure that bathrooms are clean and even use UV lights when cleaning and inspecting to make sure that they bathrooms are clean.

The "sticky" floor that you mentioned was actually residue from the Swiffer pads that were used to clean the floor. We have experienced that some Swiffer pads do leave a residue and this seems to be a known issue with the pads. (I never see them advertise that aspect of them on TV though.) It does not always happen and, if the person inspecting the cabin after it has been cleaned notices an area then it is cleaned with another cleaner to remove the residue. I personally think that using the pads is significantly cleaner and more sanitary than using a dirty mop that is dunked into a clean mop solution. Carpeting is not practical due to the amount of dirt and mud that can be brought into a cabin.

The futon appears to have broken by the previous guest and a replacement had been ordered prior to your arrival. It arrived two days after your departure and was replaced. Unfortunately, stains can and do happen because food and beverages do seem to get spilled. While we have no control over that, it is, none the less, our responsibility to clean them up. regrettably, stains do not always come completely out but they have been cleaned. We do draw the line at any type of bodily fluid and have tossed numerous sheets, pillows, pillowcases, blankets, etc. if we find any trace. I know because I am the one that sees the bills.

The only dust that I found after a complete inspection was on the TV mounts in both the living room and mater bedroom plus along about an 18" section of the cedar trim directly above the window in the master bedroom. There was a light covering on one of the bedroom diffuser fans but none on the ac unit filters. The bottom line is that some light dust was discovered in several places and Eric has shared your comments with those cleaning and inspecting (the cabins are always inspected by someone who did not assist in cleaning it) the cabins.

I am very sorry that you did not enjoy your stay on the campground but would encourage you to engage the management of any establishment if you experience a problem or have any concerns. I can assure you that my staff is not indifferent and really wants you to enjoy your visit.. both at the cave and the campground. Unfortunately, some of the items that you mentioned such as the beetles were beyond our control. Others such as the knotty pine could have been investigated and resolved had you brought them to the attention of a manager. I do, however, thank you for your comments and hope that you will consider a return visit when in the Chattanooga area. Please feel free to contact me directly at 423-821-9403 if you would like to discuss your stay in more detail. Thanks again.
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Watford, United Kingdom
1 review
“Brilliant wild cave tour don't miss!!”
Reviewed 31 October 2013

We (my wife and I both late forties) had researched raccoon mountain caverns via trip advisor and as virtually every review was great we decided to head there. We turned up at 10.15am looking for a wild cave tour which takes you deeper into the cave than a standard tour, we hadn't pre booked which we should have done,But this had totally slipped my mind even though I had read it on their website.
Anyway Corey (hope that is correct spelling) and his colleague at the desk (did not get his name) were very helpful and texted a guide who was in a class at the time, but he wasn't needed because Patty
Who was there doing paperwork kindly offered to take us down into the caves.
We did the 1 1/2 hour Eco tour which lets you get a taste of crawling on your belly and sliding on your bum with some climbing thrown in too ! Patty was very knowledgable about all aspects of the cave and friendly too. We surfaced about two hours later tired but elated because we never thought we would be caving like that with no prior experience but Patty talked us through everything. We were not rushed at any point & even stopped turned off our lamps and sat in complete silence..
All in all it was a fantastic tour which we recommend to any body with a modicum of fitness.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robert P, General Manager at Raccoon Mountain Caverns, responded to this review, 11 December 2013
Thank you for visiting our country and for visiting Raccoon Mountain Caverns to do a wild cave expedition. As you found out, we do our very best to accommodate everyone who inquires about a wild cave expedition. Your guide, Patty, is actually the Cave Manager and our Senior Geologist and I am glad that you thoroughly enjoyed your tour. The tours are actually designed so that you cave for a little then stop and discuss issues such as safety, geology, formations, etc. By the way, Corey (correctly spelled) works in the office and is both a Crystal Palace Walking Tour guide and a Wild Cave guide. Thanks again for contacting us and I am glad that we were able to accommodate your request. We realize that some folks find themselves in the area looking for unique and interesting things to do and, as I am sure you will agree, caving is certainly unique and memorable.
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Cumming, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Tour an unspoiled cave”
Reviewed 31 October 2013

I recommend Raccoon Mountain Cave Tour if you want to experience an unspoiled cave. Unlike Ruby Falls which was vandalized by self guided tours in its beginning. Raccoon Mountain has wonderful examples of stalagmites and stalactites. Our tour guide was a delightful young lady named Brooke. She was very knowledgable and was able to answer all of our questions.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Maureen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robert P, General Manager at Raccoon Mountain Caverns, responded to this review, 11 December 2013
Thank you very much for visiting our cave and for sharing your comments. As you could tell, we take great pride in our beautiful cave and protecting both the cave and the natural life within it (bats, crickets, salamanders, and spiders) is job one. Your patronage allows us to continue with that mission and to protect Raccoon Mountain Caverns from the formations damage and destruction that, unfortunately, is seen at so many caves. I passed your comments along to Brooke and she was very appreciative. Thanks again for visiting!
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Clinton, Mississippi
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Don't Miss it”
Reviewed 22 October 2013

We really liked Raccoon Mountain. There were 5 people on our tour. My wfie, child, myself and another couple. Our tour guide was young and I can't remember her name but she had a very southern accent like myself and I loved listening to her. She was young but knew her stuff!! I was actually surprised it was not busier, I guess it is that hidden secret that you have to find. We did every tourist thing there was to do doing our week trip. This would have been in the top 3 and the prices here were great. I think there is always room for improvement and I can tell that management is on the site monitoring reviews (I think that is awesome) so I am going to leave one suggestion. I would suggest your spruce up and clean up the outside some. When you walked up past the gift shop to the left of the water feature, it was pretty junky and first impressions matter alot. Just my 2 cents! Again, it was a great tour!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank ClayMansell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robert P, General Manager at Raccoon Mountain Caverns, responded to this review, 24 October 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to visit our cave and I am certainly glad to hear that you enjoyed your tour. Your guide would have had to be either Emily or Natalae and I will be sure to let them know that they once again did a great job.

I appreciate your comments about the area to the left of the small pond at the back of the patio. We are actually in limbo awaiting the stone contractor to extend the retaining wall around the back left side and to replace the capstone on the whole wall. The original capstone was hollow brick that the previous contractor thought would be perfect to tie together the brick of the buildings with the block of the wall. Unfortunately, despite signs to the contrary, some folks have lifted some of the rocks from the edge of the pond and dropped them on the hollow brick. (There are fish in the pond and sadly, some folks seem to like throwing things into the pond at them.) The result is that several bricks are damaged and have to be replaced. We are hopeful that the contractor will start the project in the very near future. We did some of the preliminary work with respect to digging the trench for the support footer. I think that, if you should return next spring, you will like the finished project. I do, however, very much appreciate your suggestion and wanted to let you know that we are aware of situation and awaiting our stone contractor. By the way, the same contractor was used about six months ago and did a wonderful job on a retaining wall for the campground's new Club House. Pictures of that wall can be found on the campground page of our web site.

Thanks again for visiting and I hope that you will be able to stop by on your next visit to see how the wall by the pond turns out and perhaps view the cave again.
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Orlando, Florida
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Pleasure taking photos”
Reviewed 15 October 2013

We did the cave tour today and it was a pleasure taking photos without being rushed. Would highly recommend this over Ruby Falls if you only have time for one cave visit. We had 5 people on our today instead of 40 at Ruby Falls. We saw more formations including a shield we have not seen in any of the caves tours in the US so far.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank rvw2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robert P, General Manager at Raccoon Mountain Caverns, responded to this review, 17 October 2013
Thank you very much for taking time to visit our cave. I am very glad that you enjoyed your tour. The Shield Formation which you spoke is indeed quite rare and it is simply amazing how it most likely formed. As you also mentioned, we do not mind if you want to take a few pictures and will be glad to wait. We want your tour to be both memorable (pictures certainly help with that) and enjoyable. It sounds as though we succeeded! Thanks again for sharing your comments and please consider stopping by for another visit if your travels should ever find you in the area.
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