Ruby Falls is one of Chattanooga’s prized possessions. I was lucky enough to have grown up coming here on field trips in elementary school, but neither of the other girls on our Weekend Trip to Chattanooga had been, so we made sure to go!
After spending the morning at Rock City, we made the quick drive across Lookout Mountain to Ruby Falls. Surprisingly, we were greeted by a line out the door, and our pre-purchased tickets gave us no privilege in line. After our 45-minute wait, we were standing at the doors of the elevator and waiting to go down the 260-foot elevator into the cavern.
This is the same shaft that the explorer Leo Lewis created in the early 1900s when he found the falls. The most incredible thing to me was that they crawled in a one and a half foot high opening for 17-hours roundtrip discovering the falls. On the tour, you get to see the original crawl tunnel; I felt claustrophobic just thinking about being in there in the pitch black.
Since the walkways are still extremely small, our group of probably 40 had to walk in a single file line that made it very hard for our tour guide to point things out as we were walking. Instead, they have built-in P.A. systems that give you information and point out the viewpoints along the tour. There are very cool natural formations like the Tobacco Leaves, the Elephant’s Foot, and one really cool hands-on formation.
We arrived at our last stop before the falls, and our guide told us to look up and around the falls to see from where the water originally fell. Once the previous tour came out, we walked into a very dark opening and followed the sound of the rushing water right to the fall.
The lights slowly began to turn on from the bottom of the formations, and before we knew it, we were face to face with the beautiful, 126-foot high, underground waterfall. We stood in awe for so long that we forgot to get a decent picture in front of the falls when it was lit with white light.
Only a few minutes in front of this natural wonder was not enough. I hope when John and I come back, we go on an extended tour or a lantern tour. Ruby Falls was absolutely mesmerizing and I am so glad I got to take my two friends for their first time experiencing this