Experience Ruby Falls with a unique cave adventure!
Contributed By: Guest Blogger, Taryn Lau, Lau Family Travels
We woke up bright and early on Sunday morning to be the firsts at Ruby Falls when they opened. I had done a little researching ahead of time and everyone suggested being there right at opening. Ruby Falls opens every day at 8am EST (they are closed on Christmas) and close at 8pm according to their website. At 7:40am there were already people waiting at the doors!
We already had our tickets, so when the doors opened we were able to skip the ticket desk and go through the gift shop to the Cave Tours waiting area. I made sure we all made visited the restroom in the waiting area because once you are down in the cave there aren’t any bathrooms! The tour takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes so, make sure everyone goes or at least tries to go.
We only waited a few minutes before it was time to board the elevator that descends into the cave. We were lucky enough to be on the very first tour of the day with Doug, our trusty adventure guide! Doug took a minute to get to know each of us before giving us the safety information. You are 26 stories under the mountain and on a fault line… just so you know! (And it was good to know if the elevator needs unscheduled maintenance, there is an alternate exit out of the cave through a paved pathway, whew!)
When you first get off the elevator they line you up to take your picture. They show you the picture at the end of the tour and offer it to you in a package. The pictures were wonderful, I just never purchase those types of souvenirs. I sort of wish I would have though! It was a great picture of us! I understand during the holidays, you can get the photo as an ornament.
The walk along the cavern trail.
The actual walk through the cave isn’t very tiring. Doug had us going on a good pace with a few stops to listen to the historical background of Ruby Falls. The walk to the falls is approximately .4 miles there and another .4 miles back. Walking through the cave is a lot easier for shorter people though, a lot of the taller men and women had to duck a lot. Doug made sure to let us know if there was a specific rock formation that we should look out for.
It’s a little chilly in the cave (they say it’s always 60 degrees), however I got a little warm by the end of the tour. Make sure that you wear layers and that you have a long sleeve shirt that you can take off if you do get overheated.
When we got to the actual falls our tour guide gave all the children a little lecture about appreciating this time with their parents and to smile for a nice picture in front of the falls with their families. I could tell Doug really took this job seriously, and I appreciated that!
Ruby Falls is a natural wonder!
When you first walk into the falls “room” it’s breath-taking. They have lights that are illuminating the falls in a sort of “show” with light music pumping in as well. The music and lights really help give you a happy, feel-good vibe while you experience Ruby Falls. However, even if there weren’t any colored lights or music, this would still be amazing. The water is rushing in and disappears below into the caverns below. It is one of the largest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public and it’s a must see!
The uplifting walk back…
After the lights turned off and we turned around, we set back on our .4 mile journey to the elevators. I felt uplifted and just plain happy. I felt like we just experienced something wonderful together as a family and we’ve been missing that time together. It was so nice to slow down and take in nature’s beauty as we experienced Ruby Falls together.
As we walked back we passed A LOT of other tour groups that were stopped and waiting for their turn. This made me happy in my decision to get us all up early and to Ruby Falls before it got busy! I also noticed that all of the tour guides were different with different personalities. This could make your tour experience different and unique each time.
Make it a whole day adventure.
After your Ruby Falls tour, take a moment to enjoy the grounds and buildings. Take a trip up to the 70+ foot Lookout Mountain Tower to see a beautiful view of Chattanooga. Peruse the Village Gift Shop. Grab a bite to eat in the Cavern Cafe or Ruby’s Kitchen. If you are feeling extra adventurous you could also experience the ZIPStream Aerial Adventure for an extra cost!
Other Lookout Mountain attractions include Rock City & the Incline Railway. You could easily make a whole day adventure out of all of these awesome attractions. We didn’t have the time to check out Rock City or the Incline Railway, but that means we have another reason to go back another time!
I think everyone should experience Ruby Falls!
If you are driving through, or making a special trip, I think you need to set aside some time to experience Ruby Falls. Even if you just go for the cave tour and nothing else you should. When I asked my 9-year-old (who is highly addicted to watching YouTube videos) what his favorite part of our whole weekend in Chattanooga was he said seeing Ruby Falls. Even HE thought it was amazing! It really is a great adventure for the whole family to enjoy together.
We’d like to thank Ruby Falls for giving us this awesome opportunity! We will definitely be back again. We’d also like to thank Doug for being a super awesome tour guide (even if he did pick fun at the good ol Music City)! We know if was all in good fun!
If you would like more information about Ruby Falls check out their VERY informative FAQ page!
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