Mammoth Cave National Park

Useful Information

Boone Avenue is a highlight of the Grand Avenue Tour. © NPS Foto, royalty free.
Fourteen vertical shafts guide you to your lowest point on the Frozen Niagara Tour. © NPS Foto, royalty free.
Gypsum formations in the Cave take on many bizarre forms, like this gypsum flower. © NPS Foto, royalty free.
Location: 1 Mammoth Cave Parkway. Mammoth Cave, KY 42259.
Highways I-65, 31W, 31E from the North.
Blue Grass Parkway, the Cumberland parkway, and U.S. 68 from the East.
I-65, 31W, and U.S. 68 from the South.
U.S. 231, The Green River parkway, and the Western Kentucky Parkway from the West.
All connect with Ky. 70 and Ky. 255 to the park.
(37.186292, -86.100264)
Open: Visitor Center: all year daily hours change through the year.
Closed 25-DEC.
Fee: Mammoth Passage Tour: Adults USD 5, Children USD 3.50, Seniors USD 2.50.
Historic Tour: Adults USD 12, Children USD 8, Seniors USD 6.
New Entrance Tour: Adults USD 12, Children USD 8, Seniors USD 6.
Frozen Niagara Tour: Adults USD 10, Children USD 8, Seniors USD 5.
Grand Avenue Tour: Adults USD 24, Children USD 18, Seniors USD 12.
Great Onyx Tour: Adults USD 15, Children USD 11, Seniors USD 7.50.
Snowball Tour: Adults USD 14, Children USD 9, Seniors USD 7.
Violet City Lantern Tour: Adults USD 15, Children USD 11, Seniors USD 7.50.
River Styx Tour: Adults USD 13, Children USD 9, Seniors USD 6.50.
Star Chamber Tour: Adults USD 12, Children USD 8, Seniors USD 6.
Focus on Frozen Niagara Tour: Adults USD 10, Children USD 8, Seniors USD 5.
Wild Cave Tour: Adults (16-) USD 48, Seniors USD 24.
Introduction to Caving: Adults USD 23, Children (10-18) USD 18, Seniors USD 11.50.
Trog Tour: Children (8-12) USD 14.
Senior discounts to holders of a valid Golden Age/Golden Access and America The Beautiful Senior/Access Pass.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave Speleologyriver cave.
Light: electric
Dimension: The longest cave in the world: L=571,195m, D=115m
Mammoth Dome: H=58m, Bottomless Pit: H=32m.
Guided tours: Mammoth Cave Discovery Tour (Self-Guided): L=400m, D=30min, VR=40m, St=180.
Mammoth Cave Discovery Tour (Ranger-Guided): L=400m, D=90min, VR=40m, St=180.
Historic Tour: L=3,200m, D=120min, VR=100m, St=440.
Frozen Niagara Tour: L=1,200m, D=120min, VR=85m, St=500.
Travertine Tour: L=400m, D=75min, VR=14m, St=13 (+98 optional).
Grand Avenue Tour: L=6,500m, D=4.5h, VR=100m, St=670.
Violet City Lantern Tour: L=4,800m, D=3h, VR=57m, St=160.
River Styx Cave Tour: L=4,000m, D=150min, VR=120m, St=560.
Great Onyx Lantern Tour: L=1,600m, D=135min, VR=10m, St=40.
Wild Cave Tour: L=9km, D=6.5h, VR=100m.
Introduction to Caving: L=2,000m, D=3.5h, VR=85m, St=280.
Trog Tour: L=1,600m, D=150min, VR=54m.
Star Chamber Tour: L=2,400m, D=135min, VR=55m, St=200.
Focus on Mammoth Photo Tour: L=400m, D=120min, VR=17m, St=13 (+98 optional).
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Richard A. Waston, Richard A. Watson, Roger W. Brucker (1987): The Longest Cave, paperback, 331 pp, Southern Illinois University Press, February 1987, ISBN: 0809313227.
Joy M. Lyons (1991): Mammoth Cave - The Story Behind the Scenery, paperback, 48 pp, Kc Publishing May 1991, ISBN: 0887140505.
James D. Borden, Roger W. Brucker (2000): Beyond Mammoth Cave - A Tale of Obsession in the World's Longest Cave, hardcover, 353 pp, Southern Illinois University Press, November 2000, ISBN: 0809323451.
Collen O'Connor Olson and Charles Hanion (2002): Scary Stories Of Mammoth Cave, 92 pp illus., SB $7.95. Both authors are guides at Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, USA. Over the years they have collected together a lot of amusing stories. Not recommended for bedtime reading.
Patricia H Quinlan (2004): Beneath Their Feet, 373 pp, paperback, iUniverse, ISBN: 0595310133.
A Novel about Mammoth Cave and its people. Pat lived at Mammoth Cave for seven years. Her husband was the caves historian/researcher. Using his archives she has written a historical novel which is very close to the truth. She uses the names of real people to describe events that actually happened at Mammoth Cave 150 years ago.
Jeanne K Hanson (2007): Caves, 142 pp, 16 colour and 30 B&W photos. Chelsea House, New York.
pp 7-22
Address: Mammoth Cave National Park, P.O. Box 7, Mammoth Cave, KY 42259, Tel: +1-270-758-2180, Fax: +1-270-758-2349.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


4,000 BP Ancient artifacts and well preserved human mummies found in Mammoth indicate that people began venturing into the cave.
1799 according to legend a hunter a hunter named Hutchins, chasing a bear through the hills near the Green River, stumbled across a huge cave portal. This opening today is called the Historic Entrance.
1799 Valentine Simmons buys the land with the cave on it.
1812 Mammoth became a valuable commercial property with the outbreak of the War of 1812 between the United States and England. Cave sediments with abundant quantities of nitrate, an essential ingredient of gunpowder, were mined by slaves during the war.
1816 formal guided tours started.
1842 Dr John Croghan buys the cave.
mid-1800's Stephen Bishop, renowned guide and cave explorer, discovered miles of passages, underground rivers, and gypsum-decorated chambers.
18??-19?? weddings, performances by Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth and singer Jenny Lind, and the establishment of a hospital for tuberculosis patients in the cave.
1935 mummy of an Red Indian, who died around 17 BC, discovered 3km from the entrance by guides.
1941 Mammoth Cave National Park was established to preserve the cave.
1981 designated a World Heritage Site.
1990 UNESCO classified it as an International Biosphere Reserve.
MAR-2007 new electric light for six million dollars.


Broadway, or Main Cave, is a colossal underground canyon. © NPS Foto, royalty free.

Mammoth Cave is the longest cave of the world with more 570 kilometers of passages. This length is so extraordinary, the second largest cave of the world is the Jewel Cave, South Dakota, U.S.A., which is "only" 218km long. And although it is very unlikely the length of Mammoth Cave will be reached in the next future by another cave, place two is still changing now and then because of new discoveries.

The Mammoth Cave system is so huge, it extends over two mountain ranges. Once the cave systems in both mountains were explored separately, until the connection between both was found in the 1960s. The second cave, Flint Ridge was nearly as big as Mamoth cave. The formal name of the whole system is Mammoth-Cave-Flint-Ridge-System, but as this name is rather long it is simply called Mammoth Cave.

Several entrances of the cave system were separately developed for tourists. Some of them were not known to be the same cave, so they have their own names. Some show caves are closed now or only visited on so called historic cave tours. Being the biggest, most important and best developed cave Park in the World, there are numerous different tours of all lengths, durations, and physical conditions. Rather new is a photography tour, which is much appreciated by amateur cave photographers.

Mammoth Cave is one of the earliest tourist attraction in the United States. It was first promoted in 1816, second after Niagara Falls, New York.