Crystal Palace at Raccoon Mountain

If you’re ever near Chattanooga, Tennessee, stop by Raccoon Mountain’s Crystal Palace. This underground cavern showcases large galleries of stalactites and stalagmites with tours for novice to experienced cavers. Since we had little Owls, we did a 45 minute guided walking tour around the frontmost gallery of the cave, which housed one of a precious few shield formations in the country. Our guide was very knowledgable and answered all of our questions with ease and often with backstory.

If you want more of a wild cave experience, however, you can opt to camp in the dark gallery overnight (perfect for scouts), go on more skilled tours in the belly of the caverns or schedule an adventure in to its depths. If you’re the geocaching type, pick up their park n’grab while you’re there and don’t forget to take your picture in the old mining train car.

Raccoon Mountain also has a campground, though we didn’t camp there. I have added it to our  list, however, just from how much we enjoyed our caving experience. Perhaps when little Owl is older we’ll try one of the more advanced caving experiences.

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