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Ruby Falls picture in Chattanooga
Buburuzaproductions / Getty Images

Key Info

Details

  • Natural Wonders, Tours Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.9
Overall
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  • Value
    4.0
  • Facilities
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

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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.

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#1 Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park Along with natural attractions and a notable role in history of the rail industry, Chattanooga is very well-known for being a Civil War battleground. The Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military ... Read more » David Brossard / Flickr

#2 Tennessee Aquarium The Tennessee Aquarium is one of the world's largest freshwater aquariums, and easily Chattanooga's biggest attraction, contributing more than $100 million to the city's economy annually. And ... Read more » Charles B. Rich / Getty Images

#3 Bluff View Art District Those who find themselves beat after traversing the city's many natural attractions should consider taking a stroll through the charming Bluff View Art District. Situated atop a bluff overlooking ... Read more » Courtesy of the Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau

#4 Chattanooga Choo Choo To the naked eye, the Chattanooga Choo Choo may look like just another hotel, but what lies within the building's old brick walls is a history so rich it ... Read more » Gillet's Crossing / Flickr

#5 Rock City Gardens This popular 4,100-foot path located on the Georgia side of Lookout Mountain offers attractions to appease many different types of travelers. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy weaving through the tall ... Read more » Antipunk / Getty Images

#6 Ruby Falls 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 ... Read more » Buburuzaproductions / Getty Images

#7 Lookout Mountain Incline Railway The most practical way to get to Lookout Mountain may be by car, but the most memorable experience is definitely the Incline Railway. Billed as "America's Most Amazing Mile ... Read more » Courtesy of Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

Chickamauga National Battlefield picture in Chattanooga
Aquarium Life picture in Chattanooga
Bluff View Art District picture in Chattanooga
Chattanooga Choo Choo picture in Chattanooga
Rock City Lovers Leap picture in Chattanooga
Ruby Falls picture in Chattanooga
Incline Railway picture in Chattanooga
Chickamauga National Battlefield picture in Chattanooga
Aquarium Life picture in Chattanooga
Bluff View Art District picture in Chattanooga
Chattanooga Choo Choo picture in Chattanooga
Rock City Lovers Leap picture in Chattanooga
Ruby Falls picture in Chattanooga
Incline Railway picture in Chattanooga

David Brossard / Flickr

Charles B. Rich / Getty Images

Courtesy of the Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau

Gillet's Crossing / Flickr

Antipunk / Getty Images

Buburuzaproductions / Getty Images

Courtesy of Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

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