The Forbidden Caverns are a must stop if you plan on visiting East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains
The Forbidden Caverns are only a short 35-minute drive from Gatlinburg, and 45 minutes from Knoxville. The average guided tour is 55 minutes. Free parking is provided for cars and buses and in addition, there is also a souvenir shop with refreshments and a picnic area.
We visited the caverns on our way to Gatlinburg, TN. There’s just something about walking inside of the earth is super appealing. We had attempted to visit a cavern once before in California but Bella was so small she fell asleep before we had a chance and the terrain might have been questionable.
The Forbidden Caverns are relatively easy to explore. The tours are guided and well produced with audio and visual affects.
You enter the cavern from inside the shop. There is a door in the middle that leads you down a ramp. As soon as you open the door you can feel the dark dampness that awaits you.
At the base on the ramp you are in the actual cavern. The tour guide does a great job of explaining the history of the cavern as you walk through.
There are a few parts of the tour that require going up and down some steep, narrow stairs, but nothing our 4 year old daughter couldn’t handle. There is railing to assist the climb or decent for those who need it and it is recommended to hold the rail the entire time.
The temperature is drastically cooler while your in the cavern. If you have a light sweatshirt available that would be perfect to keep you warm but will not overheat you while you trek the earth.
The Forbidden Caverns are open Monday through Saturday, April through December, 10am to 5pm. As always the hours could change so definitely verify hours before you make the drive.
It’s hard to get good photos in the dark, but I hope they are good enough to make you want to see it for yourself. Pictures can do it justice. Exploring the cavern was good family fun.