Left Hand Tunnel Tour
Those who want to experience some of the most striking scenery will do well to take the Left Hand Tunnel. There are a few caveats with this tour where physical fitness is concerned. Guests can look forward to seeing some of the best of what the cave has to offer, including pools and fossils. This is a rugged tour and there is a great deal of fragile scenery that will be encountered by guests. The park service will provide lanterns to those who opt to take this tour.
Lasting for 2 hours, this is a ranger-guided affair that departs from the visitor center lobby. Those who elect to take this tour will need to have very sturdy shoes. For caving, ankle support is highly recommended and soles should be durable and able to provide traction in trying conditions. While this tour is an adventure, it is also a great deal of fun and any child 6 years or over is welcome to come experience the thrill. Remember that this tour is lantern-lit, so good vision is necessary and one needs to keep an eye on the young ones when the tour heads underground.
Those who love fossils will enjoy this tour. There are specimens here dating back to the Permian age. There are several different pools that guests will get to explore. The environs are characterized by the same beautiful stalactites and stalagmites found in the rest of the cave. The option to turn out the lanterns and to experience total darkness adds another level of thrill. Remember to stay on the path and to not tread in the pools. The fragile features of the cave should also be avoided. Not only can a misplaced footfall destroy some features, some of them are slick, sharp and not at all something on which one would wish to fall.
This tour costs $7 for adults and $3.50 for children. Anyone 16 or younger must be accompanied by an adult. Those with Senior passes or special access passes will pay the discounted rate for the tour. There are reservations required for this tour. The path is a primitive, dirt floor and will be hard on shoes and feet, so be prepared. This tour will not be appropriate for those who have a hard time navigating uneven terrain or for those who have limitations on the amount of physical activity they can endure.