Traveler EdgeMammoth Cave National Park
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Last Update : 2008/6/20
Currently 13 visitor(s) on-line
Total visits in past 24 hours : 1017
Mammoth Cave National ParkVisits :
Mammoth Cave National Park Map
Mammoth Cave  National Park
sorry, this is not a real picture. However, you can probably imagine what it may look like in a miles-long underground cave.

Yes, it is totally, absolutely dark.

We visited this park on September 1996. We didn't do usual activity such as hiking. Well, on surface, at least.

We participated a couple cave tours. That's what this place is famous for. I could never imagine that the underground passage could be that long. This is the longest recorded cave system in the world with more than 360 miles explored and mapped.

We first did the self-guided discovery tour as warm-up and got a taste of what it like in the cave. We then spent 2 hours on the Frozen Niagara tour. We took a bus (which was like an old school bus) to the entrance then down we went. There was nothing much to take picture. It was too dark and even if we tried, it was just cave with rocks after all. It is the place that you have to be there to experience it. The sound (echo of foot steps), the dry or somewhat wet air you breath, the cool temperature, the breeze and the absolute dark after ranger turned off the light and such, can not be described by words or pictures. It was the nuance atmosphere that you got to feel, even by your skin.

The next day we participated the Grand Avenue tour. It was longer with a stop for lunch. We carried enough water and walked a long way.

The most-wanted tour was the Wild cave tour. However, it was too long (like 6 hours) and challenging. We did not have enough time either for such long tour.

One interesting thing, or maybe not-so-interesting thing, was that alcoholic drink was prohibited in that area. Although I am not alcoholic, I usually would like to have local beers during vacation. So I got coke only and the fried-chickens there were not so Kentucky..
Location: Kentucky, USA South East

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Park Summary
Park Rating
Overall
Rating : 2  (1 votes)
Convenience
Rating : 2  (1 votes)
Physical Demand
Rating : 4  (1 votes)
Family Activity
Rating : 2  (1 votes)
What does the rating mean ?I want to rate for this park
Park Geography

Cave, Forest

Nearby City(Definition of Driving Distance and Time)
City, StateDistanceDrive Time
Louisville, KY94 miles1:41
Nashville, TN98 miles1:37
Chicago, IL387 miles6:13
Little Rock, AR440 miles6:30
Cleveland, OH443 miles6:57
Detroit, MI454 miles7:10
Washington, DC673 miles10:54
Dallas, TX755 miles10:49
Minneapolis, MN811 miles12:21
New York, NY845 miles13:25
Miami, FL1000 miles14:32
Nearby National Park(Definition of Driving Distance and Time)
National ParkDistanceDrive Time
Smoky Mountain271 miles5:08
Cuyahoga443 miles6:57
Congaree480 miles9:20
Hot Springs490 miles7:24
Shenandoah580 miles10:20
Isle Royale860 miles15:51
Biscayne994 miles14:28
Voyageurs1072 miles17:18
Capulin Volcano1225 miles22:49
Badlands1250 miles17:42
National Park Service Website
http://www.nps.gov/maca
Weather Forecast
Activity Suggestion
This park is everything about underground cave. You can certainly do hiking above the ground but you will miss all the fun.

Plan at least two days if you do visit. Attend two or more cave tours based on your physical condition. Talk to park ranger for recommendation. The longer tours are more physical demanding but more exciting.

You have to purchase tickets for the cave tours. Use this link to access the NPS posted tour schedule : http://www.nps.gov/maca/schedule.html.
Pay special attention to the time zone (US Central). You don't want to miss your tour..

It is difficult for cave tour if you have baby or very young child with you. Be warned that the activities here might not be suitable for the whole family.

The nearest National Park is Great Smokey Mountain with about 5 hours drive. You can "package" these two parks if you have 5+ days vacation.
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