Ruby Falls

June 2014

State: Tennessee

Location: Chattanooga

Height: 145

Crest: 5

Water Source: Unnamed


Summary: Ruby Falls is one of the highest underground waterfalls in the world. As far as waterfalls are concerned, it is an expensive one to visit, but it is also a unique and spectacular waterfall experience.

Ruby falls is a 145 foot falls located 1000' feet below ground in Lookout Mountain just outside of Chatannooga Tennessee. This is an interesting and unique waterfall, being one of the only underground falls in the United States that can be easily visited. It is also a very commercial waterfall. You have to buy a ticket for a guided tour if you want to see it.

The tour starts with a ride down 1000' feet on an elevator. From there it is 10 minute or so walk past all sorts of interesting cave formations. It is guided, so you cannot get lost. The caves are dry and the trail is level. No spelunking experience is necessary. The tour ends at cave containing the falls. The cave is interesting phenonoma. Instead of a gorge, this waterfall has carved out a cave. The falls are lit up with changing colored lights. I remember they had dramatic music playing as well. Not exactly a wild waterfall experience, but very interesting nonetheless.

The falls were discovered by accident in the 20s during the caving craze. Leo Lambert, a local cave enthusiast, was trying to open up a new entrance to Lookout Cave, and accidentally discovered the falls and its cave. It makes one wonder how many other waterfalls there might be hiding deep below the ground.

The falls are easy to find. Ruby Falls and Lookout Mountain are very well advertised. There are signs for it along all the highways in the Chattanooga area.

[Cumberland Plateau] Nearby Falls

Tennessee has a lot of waterfalls. Julia Falls and Rainbow Falls are a pair of wild waterfalls just north of Chattannooga. Falling Water Falls is a little farther north. It is about a 20 minute drive. Savage Gulf, which contains a half dozen waterfalls, is an hour away. Cane Creek Falls and the other waterfalls in Falling Creek Falls State Park are also an hour away. De Soto Falls is an hour to the south in Alabama, and Benton Falls is a 1.5 hour drive to the east.

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