Our Day at the Raccoon Mountain Caverns in Chattanooga, TN
When you hear the name Chattanooga, some of you might remember the sad stories of the Trail of Tears. Others might remember the battles that took place during the America Civil War. Others talk about the best aquarium they could think of, Tennessee Aquarium.
But this time, we want to try something different. We want to get dirty.
Yeah, that’s right, it’s a “get muddy” tour by Raccoon Mountain Caverns. The cavern is a great location filled with beautiful natural rock formations, stalactites, and stalagmites. Two types of trips were offered. Crystal Palace Tour is the peaceful type where you walk around the most significant cave room which is about .5 miles long.
The other tour is the challenging, less peaceful tour where you have to crawl under small gaps to get through the deeper parts of the cave. So, we naturally took this one because, hey, when else will you get to follow the explorers’ footstep deep into a cave?
Fun fact about this place is that it’s completely natural with no human-made structure (except the lights, obviously). The wildlife here is also unthreatening to humans which include salamanders, bats and the unique Crystal Cavern Spiders which are known to only exist in that very cave. No pets are allowed to protect the ecosystem inside the area.
The Raccoon Mountain Caverns site has listed what you can expect when partaking in this tour as well as answers to common questions asked. One note of warning though: If you want to participate in the Wild, you need to be at least physically healthy for it. You will be expected to climb through rocks and crawl under small gaps that lead to a different cave room.
The site managers prepare the gears that you will need to protect yourself during the tour. Gloves, helmets, pads, etc. But you have to prepare your own clothes and shoes, of course. With that in mind, don’t forget to wear something you wouldn’t mind getting scratched or super dirty with. Shoes have to be comfortable and will be guaranteed to be full of mud by the time you finish the tour.
Helmets will be geared with flashlights, so you don’t have to worry about that one. Whichever tour you go on, expect water to drip from creeks above!
So, is cave exploring a great way to spend your vacation? If anyone had asked me this question before I ventured on this, my first answer would have been no. But this is one experience I will entirely never forget.
There are simple things to remember so you can enjoy the experience: don’t be afraid to get dirty, listen to your guide and feel the thrill that previous explorers felt when they walked through that very same path.
It was definitely a great way to spend time with friends as we made our way exploring the mysteries behind the giant rock known as Raccoon Mountains Caverns.