Raccoon Mountain Caverns

Wild Cave Expeditions

Home of the South's most popular Wild Cave Adventure Tours

 

Chattanooga, Tennessee

 

About Us

Raccoon Mountain Caverns was discovered in 1929 by famed Chattanooga area cave explorer, Leo Lambert.  The property had been the farm for the restaurant of the Grand Hotel which was located in downtown Chattanooga.  The farmers would enjoy sitting in front of the rocks at the base of Raccoon Mountain on a hot afternoon in order to enjoy the cool breeze which was blowing out from several cracks.  Mr. Lambert was invited to explore the cracks and he enlarged the small opening so that he could enter and explore. He was amazed at what he found and decided to open the cave for its first commercial tour on June 28, 1931, in the midst of the Great Depression.  Mr. Lambert originally named the cave the "Tennessee Caverns."  The name was later changed in the 1950's to "Crystal City Caves" and then to "Crystal Caverns" in the 1960's.  The name was again changed in the late 1970's to our present name, Raccoon Mountain Caverns, when the Tennessee valley Authority (TVA) started to develop a hydroelectric facility several miles away.


Raccoon Mountain Caverns has the oldest and most respected wild cave adventure tours in the south.  These tours began informally in the 1960's from guests who wanted to see beyond the lights and pathways of the Crystal Palace Tour.  Word of mouth of these unique tours spread and demand continued to grow.  By 1973, demand had grown so much that a formal wild cave program was developed.  Several tours were created with varied length and degree of difficulty.  Tours were standardized and a formal training program was developed. 


Your tour builds on our heritage and will be led by a highly trained guide who will focus on safety, education and cave conservation.  We provide all necessary equipment so all you have to bring are old clothes, a change of clothes, and an adventurous spirit.  We hope that you will go caving with us!