Sometimes the most exciting summer adventure isn’t in the blazing hot sun, but rather in the cool confines of a historical cave that is millions of years old. Since Leo Lambert first braved the darkness of the caverns leading to Ruby Falls in 1928, millions of people have included this destination on their must-see list for summer vacation.
A tour of the cave and waterfall is much different than when it first opened. Today
, environmentally friendly lighting highlights the remarkable natural rock formations and softly illuminates the path which leads to magnificent Ruby Falls. Back when Leo Lambert and crew first explored the small opening that would lead to Ruby Falls, they were treated to a much different view of the cave, surrounded by complete darkness except for the small sources of light they carried. The formations cast a different shadow under low light, thereby bringing the mysteriousness of the cave to life.
We want you to be able to explore Ruby Falls in a similar way to how Leo and Ruby Lambert did. That’s why we started our Friday night Lantern Tours. These limited-sized specialty tours let you see a different face of the cave, and the familiar formations look completely different when only lit by the light of a few lanterns.
The tour guide leads the way with an inspector’s lantern lit with fuel, and the flickering flame brings the cave to life in a fantastic way. A few members of the group will also get a small handheld electric lantern. These are the only light sources in the cave. Your eyes slowly adjust to the low level of light, revealing a breathtaking scene, letting you see the path to Ruby Falls like few will. A heightened sense of adventure permeates the cave, as you make your way to the falls, which are spectacularly lit using a system of lanterns and pulleys.
Lantern Tours are one of our favorite ways for guests to visually experience the cave and Ruby Falls, and the storytelling demonstrated by our knowledgeable tour guides will leave you with a deep appreciation for the history and geology behind this natural wonder. Your guide will also delve into the hidden folklore of Ruby Falls, including some phenomena that have yet to be explained.
These tours only operate during select times of the year. Currently, there are 2 tours available every Friday night through Labor Day, so there is still time to plan a nighttime adventure that will be the talk of the summer! Reservations are required, and check-in time is between 8:30-9 p.m.
Experience Friday nights in a whole new light at the Ruby Falls Lantern Tour! Space is limited, so book your adventure online today!