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“Excellent Caving Opportunities”

Raccoon Mountain Caverns
Ranked #4 of 151 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
Reviewed 6 July 2014

This was an amazing activity for the family. I would imagine a bunch of college aged kids would love this too. This Cavern was amazing and so raw....it is not commercialized and the guides take you far into the caverns.They also make sure you are comfortable and guide you through out the trip down there. There is lots of stomach crawling,army crawling,going through holes,rope climbing and so much more. There are areas of the caves that are big and plenty of resting opportunity. We also caved at Mammoth Caverns and thought Racoon Cavern was so much better!!!!! They also allow you to use their showers to clean up at no extra cost. I would recommend staying in their campground (log cabin homes). I did not do this due to them not being available when I called....Everyone is very nice!

1  Thank 154MaryannH
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 reviewResponded 8 July 2014

Thank you very much for visiting our cave and for taking the time to share your thoughts. We have an extremely dedicated staff coupled with an incredible cave that seems as if Mother Nature intended for it to be toured. It seems as though every obstacle has an available alternative route and that allows the guide to move the group at the speed of the slowest and to adjust the touring route to suit the group.

We also strive to provide as much value as we can for our guests and think that it is only proper to provide a place to shower and change since we have available facilities on the campground. This, however, comes at a tremendous cost to us with respect to campground reviews because we cannot clean the bathrooms until cavers are finished using them. Quite simply, some leave a mess with respect to abandoning muddy clothes and boots and others leave cave mud in the sinks and on the counters. It sometimes seems that when the messes are at their worst that a camper will come in and we will later see a review about dirty bathrooms. This will be despite staff members waiting outside with supplies in hand to clean them. As I mentioned, we want to provide value but we also want to provide clean facilities. We try hard!

I am glad that our cave compared favorably to others that you have visited. (This is also a frequent comment in our guest registry). I really appreciate your having visited because it helps us in our efforts to preserve and protect the cave and its delicate eco-system. Thanks again and I hope that you will be able to return for another visit.

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Reviews (1,043)
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738 - 742 of 1,044 reviews

Reviewed 6 July 2014 via mobile

We went to this cave as a quick stop on our way back home from a road trip to Florida. It was nice because the tour wasn't too long for our kids (3 and 6). It was also educational and not as cheesy as Meramac Caverns in Missouri. Guide was very friendly. Bring long sleeve shirts if your kids get cold easily!

Thank Jesskeay
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 reviewResponded 8 July 2014

Thank you very much for including a visit to our cave on your recent trip. I am glad that you and your family enjoyed the tour. We like to think of our cave as being an underground classroom as we like to focus on the educational aspects of the cave. (Thank you for noticing that.) We have so many beautiful (and natural) cave formations coupled with the ability to see the cave life in its natural state that we see no need for distractions (laser light and sound shows, snack bars, colored lights, etc.) found at other caves.

Thanks again for visiting and I hope that you will consider a return visit as the cave actually experiences seasonal changes. Right now, it is relatively dry and will continue to dry out until December. Then, the days are shorter and the temperatures are cooler so more of the rain that falls will soak into the cave system. That seepage of water is, by the way, responsible for the beautiful formations that you saw during your visit.

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Reviewed 5 July 2014

Family and I enjoyed our 45 min. tour of Raccoon Mountain Caverns. The cave has some beautiful features. The guide was knowledgeable. The cave itself is much less touristy/developed than some others and we appreciated that. Worth a stop if you're in the Chattanooga area.

Thank hengelhardt1
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 reviewResponded 8 July 2014

Thank you very much stopping to visit our cave and for sharing your thoughts. We strive to keep our cave "family affordable" by keeping the rates as low as possible. In addition, unlike so many attractions anymore, we do not charge for children under the age of five when they are accompanied by an adult. (It seems like virtually every attraction in the area starts charging at age 2.)

I appreciate your noticing that we are "less touristy" than other attractions as we want our guests to have an affordable and memorable experience. Our cave is absolutely fantastic with countless natural formations. There are absolutely no man-made "formations" to be found in our cave. We want to showcase the delicate eco-system that exists both within the cave and on the mountain above it. A healthy cave starts with natural, undisturbed ground above it.

Thanks again for your visit as it helps in our efforts to preserve and protect the cave. I hope that you will consider a return visit in the future.

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Reviewed 29 June 2014

I have been to a few caverns, including big ones like Carlsbad and a couple small ones, including Ruby Falls and Racccon Mtn is pretty good, way better formatations than Ruby, although Ruby does have a waterfall. With a coupon from the hotel guide magazine, it was $13 per adult. Rhett was a good guide, the tour lasted about 45 minutes and was very easy. Only a few steps and a bit of ducking for taller folks. The cavern is very well lit and has good formations. The other tours look like fun so maybe another time. The cavern itself is something like 5 miles all together, so there is probably some good spelunking back in there.

1  Thank mjd50
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 reviewResponded 10 July 2014

Thank you very much for taking the time to take the Crystal Palace Walking Tour of our cave. The big "secret" about our cave is simply the fact that it is so close to the surface. This is important because that means that more water is able to seep into the cave over widespread areas after it rains above. It is those tiny droplets of water that carry dissolved minerals that will redeposit into beautiful cave formations. The deeper you go underground, the less widespread the water becomes and you tend to see fewer and fewer formations. In fact, just along our walking tour you see areas with tremendous formation growth (closer to the surface) and areas with significantly less such as the Hall of Dreams which is simply not as close to the surface.

I will be sure to let Rhett know that you enjoyed your tour. As you mentioned, we also have the wild cave spelunking expeditions which explore the inner regions of our vast cave system. The map on the wall at the cave entrance shows approximately 5 1/2 miles of mapped passageways but we are actually closer to 7 miles thanks for more exploration. Please give us a call when you are ready to put on a headlamp, gloves and pads (which we provide) and try one of our wild cave expeditions. Thanks again for your visit and review.

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Reviewed 27 June 2014

My family had a wonderful experience on our 4 hour guided tour yesterday. This included myself, spouse and 2 daughters ages 9 and 12. I would highly recommend Andrew, our tour guide, as he was knowledgeable and kind. Andrew is studying geology and was informative and passionate about being a guide. This is our 3rd time to Raccoon Mountain and our second wild cave expedition. The kids loved it last year and voted that they definitely wanted to return this year We had a great time!

3  Thank Julie K
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 reviewResponded 10 July 2014

Thank you very much for your third visit to our cave and for taking another wild cave expedition. I will also be sure to let Andrew know that he did a great job and that you enjoyed your tour. I hope that your family might consider returning for perhaps the Waterfall Dome Expedition (basically the four hour tour that you did plus a short side trip up and into the Waterfall Dome). The waterfall is a natural, free-flowing waterfall and this simply means that it is not pumped for your viewing pleasure. Rather, it can range from a thundering waterfall after heavy rains and can slow to a tickle in the midst of a drought. The cave experiences seasonal changes and is impacted by weather conditions on the outside. Another option could be the six-hour, Gypsum Flower Expedition. This covers the four-hour, Echo Room Expedition that you just completed and then has a loop back where there is a lengthy belly crawl due to low ceiling heights. This can be a very strenuous expedition because the crawl is towards the end of the tour.

Thanks again for your return visit and for sharing your thoughts for others to read. Simply give us a call when you are ready to come back to Tennessee to further explore our cave.

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