Have you ever been to Ruby Falls?
Located over 1120 feet beneath the surface, Ruby Falls is the nation’s largest and deepest waterfall open to the public. Hundreds of gallons of water rush over by the minute and amaze visitors. It is an -awe-inspiring site. I can remember going with my family as a child, but this visit was different. I saw and appreciated the beauty in a different way than before. Tate and I have studied many different cave and cavern formations, been on a caving trip and love studying about rocks, geology, and the formations of stalactites and stalagmites.
Back in 1928 when Ruby Falls founder Leo Lambert had the idea of opening a cave as a tourist attraction, tourism as we know it today was in its infancy. Little did he know that his “roadside attraction” would soon be a must see for families from all over the world.
It started out as a dream to open the caves he played in as a child to the public, to showcase natures underground beauty to all who wished to see. But as they were excavating to install an elevator for the public to descend into the caves, he suddenly hit a pocket of air. Curious as he was, he immediately crawled in the 2 ft by 4 ft opening and explored for hours on end. Then suddenly, he hit the end of the opening and found this:
After being in the previously unexplored cave for 17 hours he finally emerged, telling everyone of the beauty he had found. Then, taking his wife Ruby with him, he christened the water fall Ruby, after his precious wife. There is so much more to the story, fascinating tidbits that you will love hearing, but you have to take the tour to get the whole story. Located on Lookout Mountain, in Chattanooga Tennessee, Ruby Falls is a large sparkling waterfall located deep inside one of the most significant mountains in the Southeastern United States. The approach to the waterfall is almost as awe inspiring as the waterfall itself. This subterranean trail contains a plethora of beautiful rock formations. Countless stalactites and stalagmites which took millions of years in the making appear in unusual and impressive forms throughout the tour.
A friendly and knowledgeable tour guide greets you at the elevator when the tour begins and shares many interesting and unusual facts about the cavern, the waterfall, and the Chattanooga area as well. The guide will point out many unusual and whimsically named formations such as the “Dragon’s Foot” and the “Totem Pole” and lead the group through specialized portions of the cave such as the “Twilight Zone” and “Weight Watchers Lane”.
If you love to take pictures I warn you that you will need to be quick…and try to stay at the back of your group to give yourself a few more minutes. You can catch up quickly, the tour moves at a pretty slow pace but doesn’t linger at all the wonders you are going to want pictures of.
Tate offered to hold the top of the cave up for us.
My strong man!!
We had a great time with our guide Johnathan. It was not only a great family outing but was educational and interesting as well. You can learn more about Ruby Falls by visiting their website at www.rubyfalls.com. AND, just in time for the Halloween season, Ruby Falls offers a Haunted Cavern event. This is not recommended for any child under the age of 10. Click on their special events to learn more about the Haunted Caverns, but remember…when you are that far underground…no one can hear your screams!
We also visited Rock City, which I will be telling you about in a later post and the ZipStream zip line and ropes course, all in the same day. We had plenty of time to do all the activities and didn’t feel rushed at all. So if you are considering a visit to Lookout Mountain just know that you can do all the attractions in one day or you can split them up, whichever you prefer.