One of the highlights of our trip to Chattanooga was visiting Ruby Falls. You will see the most spectacular views in Chattanooga plus America's tallest and deepest underground waterfall that is open to the public. You begin your experience by descending 260 feet into historic Lookout Mountain by elevator. Yes, I did say elevator! It is a slow loading and unloading process so you can expect to wait in long lines. It doesn't matter if you purchase your ticket in advance or not so be sure to consider going between 8-9 am when the caves open to avoid waiting.
Your tour guide will lead you along the cave path where you'll discover many unique geological wonders like Cactus and Candle, Onyx Column, Frozen Niagara and Ruby's Drapery. You will see ancient cave formations on the Ruby Falls Cave Tour. The tour lasts for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes and there are no bathrooms during the tour. I suggest wearing comfortable shoes. It is cool in the cave (around 60 degrees) but we were fine wearing shorts and t-shirts.
Near the end of the journey you will hear the thundering roar of breathtaking Ruby Falls, 1120 feet underground. It is simply beyond words amazing. Now another tips is that your experience in the cave is on a timer and it is limited. When I say that I mean it. Rush in and enjoy every second. Take your photos and video quickly because when the timer ends the lights also go off and that will be the end of your picture taking. My guess would be 3 minutes total for your viewing experience.
After the tour to see the falls you can climb the Lookout Mountain Tower for amazing views of Chattanooga, the Tennessee River and the surrounding mountains. It is worth climbing to the top for sure!
They also have zip-lining available for an additional cost . You can soar above the treetops and take in the spectacular views! Conquer the three-sided 40-foot climbing tower. It has five routes of varying difficulty. Enjoy courses for different age groups and experience levels. We did not choose to zip-line because of timing but it looks like a thrilling adventure.
Ruby Falls opens at 8 am - 8 pm daily year round and is closed on Christmas Day. It is only 10 minutes from downtown Chattanooga. For only a small up-charge you can experience Ruby Falls in a whole new light with the Ruby Falls Lantern Tours! Imagine seeing the falls room by lantern light just the way it was discovered. You'll hear and feel the roar long before the lantern is hoisted to the top of the cavern ceiling to illuminate the tallest commercial underground waterfall in the US.
Because the falls are not lit up on the timer this tour does provided a longer time in viewing the falls. Children under age 5 are not permitted on this tour and the Child's Ticket includes souvenir miner's helmet. I would highly suggest this tour if you have time because not only will you have more time viewing the falls but there is no concern for having to wait in the long line to tour because your ticket is timed at 8:00 pm ET. Ruby Falls is located at 1720 S Scenic Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37409.
Disclosure: Ruby Falls provided our tickets for admission however all opinions are 100% our own.