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Mammoth Cave National Park
Vacation Travel Guide

Mammoth Cave National Park

Journey toward the center of the earth as you discover the world’s largest known cave system, one of Kentucky’s great hidden secrets.

Explore grand, high-ceilinged underground rooms and investigate remarkable limestone formations at Mammoth Cave National Park. Spot strange eyeless creatures that are unique to this mysterious labyrinth. Return to the surface to find a pretty woodland full of colorful plants and lively animals.

Join a guided tour leaving from the park’s visitor center to enter the caves. With nearly 400 miles (640 kilometers) of surveyed passageways, this is certainly not an adventure to embark on alone. The ranger who accompanies you will provide fascinating information about the caves. One of the more bizarre stories to have emerged is that of Doctor Croghan who brought 16 tuberculosis patients here in the winter of 1842, believing (incorrectly) that the cool air and low light would heal their condition.

As you venture into the darkness, see the luminous shapes of limestone stalagmites and stalactites. Peer into seemingly bottomless holes and marvel as the ranger illuminates the cave with the sparking of a match. Listen to the soft fluttering of bats overhead and gaze into shallow pools where tiny white crayfish and shrimp live in the permanent gloom.

With the distant sunlight beckoning you toward the surface, head to the tranquil surroundings of Big Woods. Here long walking paths twist and turn between oak and hickory trees. Bask in the warm air as you admire hawks and bald eagles overhead. Walk quietly for the best chance of encountering deer, possums and raccoons.

Mammoth Cave National Park is in central Kentucky, a 1.5-hour drive from Louisville, Kentucky or Nashville, Tennessee. The park is open year-round. Park entrance is free, but fees are charged for cave tours and camping and some picnic shelters. Trips into the caves are by guided tour only, with various lengths of walk designed to suit everyone. Choices vary by season. Select the type of tour you want and book in advance online to guarantee availability during your visit.

While some U.S. national parks offer views of soaring mountains and others, like Mammoth Cave National Park, display their treasures underground, every one provides affordable adventure choices for all types of travelers.

Top Hotels Close to Mammoth Cave National Park

Serenity Hill Bed and Breakfast
Serenity Hill Bed and Breakfast
3 out of 5
3600 Mammoth Cave Rd, Brownsville, KY
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Situated in Brownsville, this bed & breakfast is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Mammoth Cave National Park and within 12 mi (20 km) of Mammoth Cave Visitor Center and ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (8 reviews)
"This is a GREAT BnB! Wonderful location for Mammoth Cave Park. Tina is a fantastic proprietor and provides a wealth of amenities. The rooms are spacious, the bathrooms are well appointed. Common spaces in the house are comfortable with snacks, coffee, drinks available at all hours. The breakfast ..."

Reviewed on Aug 14, 2019

Serenity Hill Bed and Breakfast
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resort
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resort
3 out of 5
950 Mammoth Cave Rd, Cave City, KY
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This family-friendly Cave City cabin is within 3 mi (5 km) of Mammoth Cave National Park, Dinosaur World, and Guntown Mountain. Crystal Onyx Cave is 2.7 mi (4.3 ...
4.4/5Excellent! (60 reviews)
"The lodging does not include linen (bed sheet, blanket, etc.) which really took us aback. The website does not indicate this clearly, which I would strongly recommend improving. Other than that, everything else was good and our son especially enjoyed the stay."

Reviewed on May 3, 2021

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resort
Hampton Inn Cave City, KY
Hampton Inn Cave City, KY
2.5 out of 5
803 Sanders Street, Cave City, KY
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $107 per night from Jun 6 to Jun 6
Situated in Cave City, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Cave City Convention Center, Dinosaur World, and Guntown Mountain. Mammoth Cave Wildlife Museum and ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (17 reviews)
"Overall great place to stay. Everything was perfect and the price was really good. The only thing that wasn’t great was the breakfast, it was sad. The only thing to eat was the tiny little packages of cereal and little cartons of milk. They also had blueberry muffins. That was it. We had to go out ..."

Reviewed on Apr 14, 2021

Hampton Inn Cave City, KY
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Mammoth Cave National Park

Serenity Hill Bed and Breakfast
Serenity Hill Bed and Breakfast
3 out of 5
3600 Mammoth Cave Rd, Brownsville, KY
Serenity Hill Bed and Breakfast
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resort
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resort
3 out of 5
950 Mammoth Cave Rd, Cave City, KY
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resort
Hampton Inn Cave City, KY
Hampton Inn Cave City, KY
2.5 out of 5
803 Sanders Street, Cave City, KY
The price is $107 per night from Jun 6 to Jun 6
Hampton Inn Cave City, KY
Red Roof Inn & Suites Cave City
Red Roof Inn & Suites Cave City
2 out of 5
807 Mammoth Cave St, Cave City, KY
The price is $54 per night from May 9 to May 9
Red Roof Inn & Suites Cave City
Cozy Cabin in Mammoth Cave
Cozy Cabin in Mammoth Cave
Mammoth Cave, KY
Cozy Cabin in Mammoth Cave
Minutes From Mammoth Cave National Park Entrance
Minutes From Mammoth Cave National Park Entrance
Brownsville, KY
The price is $150 per night from May 10 to May 10
Minutes From Mammoth Cave National Park Entrance
Mammoth Cave Cabin: Porch, Lake, & Waterfall!
Mammoth Cave Cabin: Porch, Lake, & Waterfall!
Mammoth Cave, KY
Mammoth Cave Cabin: Porch, Lake, & Waterfall!
Beautiful 2 Bedroom Unit at Resort, Sleeps 6
Beautiful 2 Bedroom Unit at Resort, Sleeps 6
Park City, KY
Beautiful 2 Bedroom Unit at Resort, Sleeps 6
Sleep Inn & Suites
Sleep Inn & Suites
2.5 out of 5
801 Mammoth Cave St., Cave City, KY
The price is $80 per night from May 16 to May 16
Sleep Inn & Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.