Mammoth Cave Historic Tour

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Mammoth Cave has a lot of different tours you can take. Really it is a matter of how hardcore do you want to be.  Mammoth Cave National Park has tours that are 6 hours at the longest and an hour and 15 minutes at the shortest. If you want to check out all the tours take a look at this blog. Best Cave Tours Mammoth Cave.  In it, you’ll learn about all the different tours from the Wild Cave Tour to the Domes and Dripstones Tour. I go over all the tours and what they have to offer. One of the most popular of all the tours at Mammoth Cave is the Historic Tour.  Over the next several minutes we’ll discuss the Mammoth Cave Historic Tour.

The Historic Tour: Click the link to go to Recreation.gov to book your cave tour ahead of time. Cave tour reservations are not required although highly recommend. Mammoth Cave gets over 500,000 visitors a year so the cave tours do sell out quickly.  The Historic Tour cost $14 per adult and $9 per kid. Seniors pay $7.50.

The Historic Tour is 2 hours and 2 miles long. It isn’t difficult at all. What I mean by that is that you’ll have to walk down a hill and in a cave, but nothing difficult. You don’t need any special boots to do this tour. The only tour where boots are required is the Wild Cave Tour. The Historic Tour is by far the most popular. It is more of a history lesson than deep cave diving.  Some people do find the Historic Tour to be boring.  During the Historic Tour, you’ll see huge caverns and bottomless pits but you don’t see any awesome cave formations. If you want to see awesome cave formations go on the Domes and Dripstones Tour, or Frozen Niagara Tour.  There your mind will be blown.

As for the Historic Tour, you’ll simply walk down a hill behind Mammoth Cave Hotel to the entrance. You go through the Historic Entrance. It is the original entrance to Mammoth Cave. It is the same entrance used by celebrities and notable figures in the 1800s and 1900s. Mammoth Cave has been giving tours since 1816 so you can imagine the history of the park.

There are several key features of the Historic Tour that you’ll love.  The Bottomless Pit and Fat Man’s Misery are the main ones. It is really freaky to look down at the Bottomless Pit, scary to imagine falling in it. I think the tour guide said the Bottomless Pit was 105 feet deep. As for the Fat Man’s Misery don’t really read much into the name. It is a tight squeeze however someone big can fit through it.  If you are 250-300 lbs you might want to reconsider.

If you noticed you don’t get to see any stalactites or stalagmites on the Historic Tour. To me, that is the only downside of the Historic Tour. You won’t see any awesome cave formations. Yeah, the huge caverns and bottomless pits are awesome formations but nothing like Frozen Niagara.

The guy who discovered many of the features on the Historic Tour is named Stephen Bishop. Stephen Bishop was black slave tour guide.  He discovered the Bottomless Pit and Fat Man’s Misery and a bunch of other things. Stephen Bishop is one of the most famous cave explorers of the park. This brave man had a lot of courage. Could you imagine going into the cave with only fire to see? If you notice as you go through the tour you are pretty deep in the cave. If your fire went out you’d be in serious trouble. Caving back in time when there wasn’t electric lighting was much more difficult than it is today.  Mammoth Cave does offer lantern light tours. Yeah, I know! You can take the Great Onyx Lantern Tour or the Violet City Lantern Tour. Check out the Recreation.gov site to see these tours.

The great Stephen Bishop, Mammoth Cave

The Historic Tour at Mammoth Cave is good and full of amazing history. The tour guide will tell you all about how the caves were used back during the war of 1812 to mine saltpeter which was used to make ammunition during the war. As I mentioned a lot of the Historic Tour is about the history of the park.  If you want to learn all that information without going on the Historic Tour then go through the museum at the visitor center. Inside the museum, you’ll find everything you want to about the history, geology, and biology of the park.  Heck going through the museum at the visitor could save you from wasting your money on the Historic Tour. Now don’t get me wrong, the Historic Tour is good but I was just disappointed not to see any stalactites or stalagmites. I thought the Domes and Dripstones Tour provided the better value. It was excellent. So, the Historic Tour is good if you want to learn all the history, walk the path of people before you, and listen to the tour guide talk about the cave. I did both The Historic Tour and Domes and Dripstones Tour. I felt that the Domes and Dripstones Tour was excellent, while I thought the Historic Tour was okay. I love history but I had spent about an hour going through the museum before the Historic Tour. I felt I already had a good grasp of the history of the park.


Mammoth Cave has so many different tours to take.  You’ll definitely find something that suits your needs. So, if you want to go hardcore spelunking then take the Wild Cave Tour. It is the most extreme tour at Mammoth Cave. If you are looking to take the family to something amazing then I recommend the Domes and Dripstones Tour over the Historic Tour unless you are a history buff and want to learn about the all the history of the park. It does get expensive to take multiple tours.  I just don’t want anybody to be disappointed because Mammoth Cave is truly awesome!

Please let me know what you think about the Historic Tour, which tour is your favorite tour?

Well thanks for stopping by, please like, tag, share and leave a comment. I’d love to hear from ya! Safe Travels 🙂

 

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