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Ruby Falls, Chattanooga

Tennessee, TN, USA


After you've passed dozens of tacky billboard signs advertising Ruby Falls, you get the feeling you are headed towards, not a geological wonder, but a tourist trap. Well, Ruby Falls is a bit of both. It's a shame that such a marvelous place is not owned and operated by the national parks service. The tour, despite the gaudy advertising, is quite good here though. And the 145 ft high waterfall inside an underground limestone cavern is really an incredible sight.
A very important thing to remember: WEAR WARM CLOTHES! It is extremely cold when you've taken an elevator over 1200 feet underground! I could not enjoy the tour, which lasts for longer than an hour, because I had flip flops and summer clothes on. Wear long pants, shoes with good grip and closed toes, and a sweater/jacket.
The tour is slightly frustrating because it takes longer than you'd expect to get to the cave. You do pass some wonderful stalactities and stalagmites. Our tour guide was an enthusiastic man who clearly loved his job.
The falls themselves are incredible. It is distracting how there is loud, cheesy music playing at the falls. The light show is quite nice, but I would have also liked to have seen the falls in their natural state with no music or lights. Also, the railing around the falls is a shame. I would love to see what they looked like when they were completely natural.
How amazing and beautiful to see a high waterfall inside an underground cavern!
The stream which makes up the falls is fed by rainfall and a natural spring. It falls into a pool below the waterfall and then travels through the cavern to the Tennessee River. The waterfall was discovered by Leo Lambert in 1928 and named after his wife, Ruby.
You can buy slightly discounted tickets for Rock City Gardens when you buy your ticket for Ruby Falls.

Photo Gallery

The castle at the entrance.

Walking into the cave.

Stalagmites and soda straw stalactites you see on the way.

Blue lighting on cave formations.

Pencil-thin soda straw formations hang from the ceiling.

Strange shapes.

Pipe organ formations.

Lit cave walls near the waterfall.

Pink-purple lighting at the falls.

The lighting has a dramatic effect.

This formation looks like Steak and Potatoes!

Relax on the patio after the tour.


This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Ruby Falls is located at 1720 South Scenic Highway, Chattanooga TN 37409, call (423) 821-2544.
Open daily 8-8. Closed Dec 25.
Admission is $19 for adults, and $11 for children aged 3-12. You can get a discount if you buy tickets for Rock City Gardens or the Incline Railway at the same time.
Check out the cool town of Chattanooga, and its riverfront area and pedestrian bridge called Walnut Street Bridge.
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