I had a great time during my recent visit to Mammoth Cave National Park. You can read about the trip here: https://bighorntravelblog.com/2017/05/07/a-very-efficient-4-12-hours-at-mammoth-cave-national-park/.
I took so many pictures during the cave tour that I took that I felt it warranted to be a stand alone blog entry.
Despite there being much to do at Mammoth Cave NP above ground, the real highlight of course is the cave. The only way to enter Mammoth Cave to check it out is to do one of the tours. Most of them have to be reserved in advance. I was fortunate to be able to get on the last tour of the day which was severely under booked. In fact, it almost seemed like a private tour and I was lucky to have a fun and knowledgeable Park Ranger as my tour guide.
The last tour of the day was The Frozen Niagara Tour. It is the shortest cave tour they offer, but I was happy to get on it. There was just the Park Ranger, myself, and 3 other folks on the cave tour. The Park runs converted school buses to take the tour groups to the various man made entrances into the cave. The historic entrance is gated and locked to allow that area to recover from so many visitors coming through there in the past.
After the short bus ride, we arrived at the cave entrance. It looked more like the entrance to an underground missile silo than to a cave to me. Our Park Ranger guide dropped this tidbit of information on us at the gate: the only sitting President to enter Mammoth Cave did so here in 1984 (Ronald Reagan). After entering the cave we followed our guide through a few tight spots and stopped in an open area. The guide showed us how dark it is with the lights off (very dark) and how quiet it was (very quiet). He then showed us that we were not alone in the cave by using his flashlight to show that we were surrounded by millions of cave crickets including directly above our heads (the cave roof was only a foot or two above us also).
We then proceeded to the far end of the tour where we could see the Frozen Niagara feature. Then we descended down a few flights of stairs to see the feature from below in a small grotto. We were about 1/8 of a mile into the cave at this point. During the walk back to the cave entrance he shared the history of the cave and pointed out interesting features (like cave bacon). I won’t ruin the tour for you by giving you the complete history, but I will say that it was very interesting and enjoyable.
I did take a bunch of pictures so I will post the rest of them here at the end for you to enjoy. Thanks for reading. rk