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“Might Be Right For You”
Review of Grand Avenue Tour

Grand Avenue Tour
Reviewed 28 June 2018 via mobile

This is a four-hour tour. However, there is not four hours of walking; it is probably more like three. On this tour you will see most of the highlights that average people see, including the Frozen Niagara Tour. There are stops for photos, but it is difficult and I’ll advised to take shots while walking. There are some very treacherous declines, and the sound of slipping was common. There are two bathroom breaks. Water is allowed but not food. After mile one, individuals who can’t make it are allowed to leave the tour. There were children 12 on the trip but not 6. Cost in the summer of 2018 was $30.00 per adult. Trips leave at 9:00 a.m all year, with an additional 11:00 a.m in the summer.

Can you make it? My wife is 57 and in great shape. For her the pace was slow and she was never winded. I am 59 and 15 pounds overweight. I exercise moderately four days a week. The pace was never too fast, though on the steepest inclines I did get winded. Nevertheless, I had no problem keeping up. However, anyone with knee or hip problems would be advised to avoid this tour, along with anyone more than forty pounds overweight or a heavy smoker.

If you are in shape enough and enjoy caves, this trip is for you. All the photos were taken by me, on this tour with a cell phone.

Thank tomsaint11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"four hours"
in 6 reviews
"stalagmite formations"
in 3 reviews
"slot canyon"
in 2 reviews
"hiking shoes"
in 3 reviews
"bang for your buck"
in 2 reviews
"snowball room"
in 4 reviews
"frozen niagara"
in 8 reviews
"in great shape"
in 2 reviews
"dry cave"
in 3 reviews
"bring water"
in 2 reviews
"wear good shoes"
in 2 reviews
"mammoth cave"
in 8 reviews
"take pictures"
in 2 reviews
"no problem"
in 2 reviews
"pace"
in 9 reviews
"carmichael"
in 2 reviews
"stops"
in 5 reviews
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6 - 10 of 45 reviews

Reviewed 20 June 2018 via mobile

This is a great tour, but you should know what you are choosing and make sure you don't pick the wrong tour like most of the folks who gave negative reviews.

THIS TOUR IS NOT FOR YOU IF you are the typical cave tourist who just wants to see a lot of "cave bling" like flow formations, crystals, stalagtites, stalagmites and the like. Those are present at the very end and you can see them on domes/drips or frozen Niagara tours in less time and a less strenuous tour. This is also not for you if you want a leisurely pace and flat trail, want to take hundreds of photos, or if you have health or mobility limitations or kids younger than 6... really... NOT A TOUR FOR TODDLERS OR PRESCHOOLERS.

THIS TOUR IS FOR YOU IF you are looking for a cave tour of some of the lesser seen sections of the cave, enjoy the unique geology and history of the cave, and you don't mind an aggressive walking pace. This is an all-walking tour on relatively clean and smooth trails, but the FAST pace and steep hills and hundreds of steps make the tour rating something beyond moderate. There is no climbing or crawling. The pace was such that our group quickly removed our sweatshirts because we were sweating even though it's 54 degrees in the cave. In hind sight, I'd have been happier in shorts and tee shirt for this specific tour. You can take a small backpack and I would recommend a water bottle (water only is allowed, no food or non-water drinks so you don't disturb the nutrition of cave wildlife). The tour is a little crowded as it has 80 tickets per tour. It would be better at half that size.

The trail is 4 miles long and there are 2 restroom stops (about at mile 1 and mile 2) and a few short breaks along the way. The tour starts at visitor center and they bus you to the Carmichael entrance. They bus you back from the violet city entrance at the end. The guides are great if you are wise enough to stay at the front so you can hear them. You will see a lot of limestone passageways, Mt. McKinley, the Grand Canyon, fairly ceiling, and frozen Niagara. You will not see the historic entrance, rotunda, bottomless pit, river styx, or any of the other features near the historic entrance.

I really enjoyed this tour, but I like the uniqueness and history of the cave more than the typical "touristy" type of tour.

Another tour I HIGHLY RECOMMEND is the violet city lantern tour... I think it's the best one of all.

4  Thank Mark M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2018 via mobile

We enjoyed the hike, the ranger was friendly & knowledgeable. There were cool things to see along the way and the very end had some amazing formations. I would do it again.

All the details we couldn’t really find on the website and/or found conflicting info for in the reviews:

We had 3 adults & 2 kids (9 & 11). We hike and are fairly active. We did not find this to be “very strenuous.” The 9-year-old was dragging a little but she made it just fine. There are 3 breaks, 2 with bathrooms. You can’t take food unless it is something you might need for a medical emergency. They no longer serve food in the snowball room. You can take water & there are water fountains at the bathrooms. It was a warm/hot day & the 54 degrees cave temperature was a nice escape. I had on light-weight Capri pants & a short sleeve shirt. I brought a jacket but never put it on. Others in my group put their jackets on. Shoes with some traction are helpful. Flip-flops would be a bad idea. I took a flashlight that I shined on some of the features to get a better look. It also came in handy in some of the slick spots. I’m not small & there were no sections that were too hard to get through. For the most part it was a fairly wide path.

Thank Zan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2018 via mobile

We had one day at the park, and chose this tour for its all- encompassing feel. It didn’t disappoint. We saw bats, rock formations, stalagmites and stalactites, 150 yr old smoke writing, vast caverns and winding passageways.

Our guide was a 5th generation tour guide who was safe, knowledgeable, and answered every question. He stopped a number of times to point things out. It was not a strenuous hike as others have reviewed, but my sister and I are also in good shape. There are stairs, hills, and narrow trails.

We were surprised that most people didn’t bring water or snacks. We’d suggest it- bring a small backpack for whatever you’d typically bring on a 4mi, 4 hour hike. The temperature in the cave is about 50 degrees, so depending on the temperature outside, bring layers. And wear sturdy shoes!

Thank rachelkutik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 April 2018 via mobile

Ranger Eric was a fantastic guide on the Grand Avenue tour. He was very knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating. This tour covered a little bit of everything and was a fairly easy walk. Highly recommended.

Thank Dana K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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