Chattanooga, Tennessee: Ruby Falls

A 145-foot-tall waterfall under the earth -- dramatically bathed in unnatural light -- is the centerpiece of this cave attraction.

Visitor Tips and News About Ruby Falls

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Ruby Falls

Alas, this is a prime example of what _not_ to do in a tourist attraction. Everything is labeled, right down to the "shaft where so-and-so discovered the cave." Well DUH. They tell you it's right near the elevator; kind of redundant after that.

While the different formations are interesting, I find the whole thing ruined by the colored lights at the falls, as well as the "Yanni"-inspired music they pipe in (insert "ahhhhh!' here). Can we not just appreciate nature's wonders without artificial add-ons?

I found the whole experience disappointing... my advice is to save your money and head straight to Rock City. At least you have a nice view once you finally get to the top of the thing.

[Wagner, 02/23/2010]

This description actually makes Ruby Falls -- a commercial cave promoting its garishly illuminated waterfall -- sound great. Note: Rock City does offer breathtaking natural vista views, but don't let that discourage anyone. Its Fairyland Caverns section is eerily lit to display fluorescent painted characters. Hooray!

Ruby Falls

Ask for Dan as your tour guide. He is so funny!

[Danny Authement, 02/04/2010]

Tipster Danny assures us he is not guide "Dan." He's had Guide Dan lead him twice on the tour -- and the sequel was as funny as the original.

Ruby Falls.

Ruby Falls

This is a pretty neat experience -- if you're in town, Ruby Falls is certainly worth the time and money!

[Shannon Moore, 01/21/2010]
Ruby Falls

Originally, we were just looking for Rock City when when we came upon Ruby Falls. We decided to purchase the Ruby Falls-Rock City combo for $31.

The Ruby Falls tour involves being taken underground in an elevator. Then you wait. Then you are herded to have your picture taken, which they will try to sell you for $20 at the end of the tour. Then you wait. Then you advance a certain distance. The tour guide shows a video. You advance a bit further and see a few rock formations. Then it is time to wait again while a group of "survivors," what they call returning tour participants, passes. The stopping and starting, and waiting for survivors goes on for quite a while until you finally reach Ruby Falls, a large subterranean water fall. You spend a few minutes there, take a few pictures, and then you begin the return trip. When you arrive at the elevator, you wait your turn again to ride to freedom.

Conclusion...We wish that we had saved our time (hour and a half) and money and just gone to Rock City which is great.

[Reverend Jimmy, 08/17/2009]
Ruby Falls - Vague Recollections

My family visited this attraction in 1961 when I was 16. Although I had girls on my mind, I thought this might be worth a looksee. We got into some kind of elevator and went down, down, down and then down some more. We finally stopped and the guide herded us out of the elevator a few yards and I could hear some running water.

The light was very dim, but after we are all somewhat settled down to one spot, they turned the lights out. This experience still defines "dark" in my mind. After what seemed an eternity -- and during which I began to wonder whether I could still hold onto my mom for protection -- they turned on some lights to illuminate this little trickle of water that pee'd over some rocks about as high as the roof on our house. The crowd "ooooooo'd" with delight, not because of the "falls" or the cheesy cellophane-colored lights, but because there was at long last ANY light at all.

[Harold, 08/09/2008]

Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls

1720 S. Scenic Hwy, Chattanooga, TN
Near Chattanooga take the I-24 (West) split. Continue on I-24W toward downtown Chattanooga. Take exit 178 (Lookout Mountain-S. Market St.) exit. Take the Lookout Mountain ramp off the exit. Proceed through the next two stop streets to Broad St. Turn Left (south) on Broad St. Proceed to the railroad underpass. Broad St. becomes Hwy 41. Continue on Hwy 41 about a half-mile and take the ramp on the left side of the highway labeled Ruby Falls.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

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