- Natural Wonders, Tours Type
- 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
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Located along the Tennessee River Gorge just south of downtown Chattanooga, Ruby Falls is one of Lookout Mountain's most popular attractions — and it was discovered completely by accident. In 1905, railroad construction forced the closure of the Lookout Mountain Cave, making it inaccessible to the public. Local cave explorer Leo Lambert sought to reverse this and gathered a team of excavators to help build an elevator from the surface that would lower visitors into the cave. Five years into construction, a team member drilled into an 18-inch opening that led to a new cave, where Ruby Falls now stands.
Located 1,120 feet below the surface of the mountain, Ruby Falls is America's deepest commercial cave and largest underground waterfall. Carrying out Lambert's vision, visitors can take an elevator down to the falls and learn about the various rock formations located along the path to the falls. The attraction also boasts a lookout tower, a playground and a ziplining adventure. There are a variety of holiday events and seasonal tours, including the Lantern Tour, where guests are guided through the mountain caverns only by lantern.
Recent visitors found the falls to be stunning and the formations in the cave cool, with many appreciating the fun atmosphere the guides helped create. However, one notable complaint among travelers was that the tour groups are too big for such a small space; some left feeling a bit claustrophobic. Others advised using the restroom beforehand, as the tour can last more than an hour and there are no facilities within the cave. Despite this, many said the tour was a great experience and recommend it to other travelers.
Ruby Falls is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. year-round. Tickets cost $18.95 for adults and $10.95 for children ages 3 to 12. You can also buy a package ticket that includes access to Ruby Falls, Rock City and the Incline Railway, which costs $48.90 for adults and $25.90 for children ages 3 to 12. Buses don't stop at Ruby Falls, but parking is free to visitors. For more information, visit the Ruby Falls website.
- Thing to Do