Adventures In Cave Country: Mammoth Cave National Park

JC Phelps

There are few attractions more grand - or worthy of a visit - in the Commonwealth of Kentucky than Mammoth Cave National Park. A part of the "Caves, Lakes, and Corvettes" designation of the state, Mammoth Cave National Park is the shining star of the region.

Adventures In Cave Country: Mammoth Cave National Park

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JC Phelps of JCP Eats and the Unabashedly Southern Blog

About Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park spans into three counties in South Central Kentucky: Hart, Barren, and Edmonson.

One of the most popular attractions in Kentucky, Mammoth Cave National Park was established with the goal of preserve the cave systems, scenic river valleys of the Green/Nolin rivers, and a portion of the hill country of the region. Mammoth Cave is the longest recorded cave system in the world; thus far, more than 400 miles have been explored and mapped.

Admission to the national park is free, though there is a fee for camping and cave tours.

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JC Phelps of JCP Eats and the Unabashedly Southern Blog

Upon descending down the steps at the entrance, guests are completed amazed at the natural flow of water, formations, and vast beauty. The rotunda is one of the most gorgeous parts of the cave - and, interestingly enough, it is directly below the hotel on the property. Other parts of the cave are named after notable individuals, such as JJ Audubon.

Types of rock found in Mammoth Cave include limestone, shale, sandstone, dolomite, siltstone, chert, conglomerate.

Activities at Mammoth Cave National Park

  • Cave tours
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Backcountry camping
  • Canoeing
  • Fishing

Operating Hours

Mammoth Cave National Park is open 24-hours a day, although services such as cave tours and the visitor center are limited after-hours. There is no gate at the park entrance.

Visitor Center Hours

  • Monday 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
  • Sunday 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM

Tour Prices

There are 21 different types of tours offered at Mammoth Cave, with the cheapest being $6 for youth (ages 6-12) and $8 for adults (13+) and the most expensive being $27 for youth (ages 6-12) and $25 for adults (13+). Tours are very reasonably priced given the quality and delivery -- you'll be amazed at the sites!

Camping Fees

Mammoth Cave Campground is located on Mammoth Cave Parkway, 1/4 mile from the visitor center.

  • Regular site, no hookups: $25/night
  • Group site, no hookups + tent only : $40/night

Maple Springs Group Campground is located on the park's north side on Maple Springs Loop, six miles from the visitor center and three miles north of Green River Ferry. All sites are group sites.

  • Group site (hookups): $50/night
  • Horseback group site (hookups): $50/night

Houchin Ferry Campground is located on the park's west side on Houchin Ferry Road, 15 miles from the visitor center and one and a half miles from the town of Brownsville, Kentucky.

  • Regular site, no hookups: $20/night

Visit Mammoth Cave National Park

1 Mammoth Cave Pkwy, Mammoth Cave, KY 42259

Contact: 270) 758-2180

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JC Phelps of JCP Eats and the Unabashedly Southern Blog

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JC Phelps is a Kentucky-based food + southern lifestyle writer.

Louisville, KY
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