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Discovering Ruby Falls: The Underground Marvel of Lookout Mountain

You ever think about what’s lurking beneath our feet? No, not your missing sock or that piece of gum you spat out. I’m talking about the earth’s hidden wonders. Enter Ruby Falls, the deepest subterranean waterfall in the US, tucked away inside Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. This isn’t just any waterfall—it’s a 145-foot droplet of wonder, and it’s got tourists flocking from all corners to Chattanooga.

A Mountain with a Secret

Lookout Mountain isn’t just your average ridge. Straddling Tennessee and Georgia, this geographical marvel hides Ruby Falls within. How do you get to the belly of this beast? Through a 260-foot elevator shaft. Yep, an elevator inside a mountain—sounds like something out of a spy movie.

More Than Just a Waterfall

Stepping into Ruby Falls is like entering Mother Nature’s art gallery. You’ve got the star exhibit (the waterfall, of course), but there’s also a labyrinth of well-lit caves with paved paths, begging to be explored.

But wait, there’s more:

  • Lookout Mountain Castle: Ever seen a 15th-century Irish castle in Tennessee? Now’s your chance! It’s got a museum, and it’s all about the falls and the caves.
  • Ruby Falls Lantern Tour: Ditch the lights, grab a lantern, and get ready for some atmospheric spelunking.
  • Ruby Falls Zipline: If walking’s not your style, how about flying over Lookout Mountain’s treetops? Best view in town, guaranteed.

How to Make the Most of Ruby Falls

Looking for fun? Ruby Falls has it in spades:

  • Guided Cave Tours: Join a group, learn some history, and explore. Tours pop off every few minutes and last about an hour.
  • Freestyle Cave Exploration: More of a lone wolf? Grab a self-guided booklet and wander for about 45 minutes.
  • Lookout Mountain Castle: Did I mention it’s free with cave admission?
  • Ruby Falls Zipline: Seriously, don’t miss this. Book in advance and get ready to soar!

Chow Down and Shop Up

Worked up an appetite? Head to the gift shop and snack bar. And if you’re in the mood for some al fresco dining, there’s a picnic area waiting for you.

Pro Tips for the Modern Cave Explorer

  • Wear those comfy sneakers. You’ll thank me later.
  • It’s cooler in the cave, so pack a jacket.
  • Early bird gets the worm. Arrive early for guided tours or visit during off-peak times to dodge those crowds.
  • Zipline spots fill up fast—reserve in advance.

Don’t Miss Out!

Ruby Falls isn’t just a pit stop; it’s an experience. A mesmerizing blend of natural beauty and fun activities, it’s the perfect spot for families, friends, and solo adventurers. And hey, after soaking in all that nature, why not check out our list of the closest hotels to rest those weary feet?

Hotels Near Ruby Falls
Photo courtesy NealVickers, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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