The name sends a shudder down the spine: Forbidden Caverns. What mysteries do these underground chambers hold? Here are five reasons you shouldn’t miss Forbidden Caverns, an attraction like no other in the Smoky Mountains.
EXPERIENCE NATURE’S SCULPTURE
Imagine frozen waterfalls, forever stuck in one position but always seeming to be in motion. Picture thick stone columns soaring to the ceilings of echoing caverns, and spiky stalagmites and stalactites poking up and down as if they’re the caverns’ sharp teeth! All these and more make Forbidden Caverns a dramatic, spectacular destination.
IT’S LIKE AN UNDERGROUND SCI-FI MOVIE
Colorful lighting makes these wonders as thrilling as any sci-fi or horror movie. See chambers dubbed the Valley of the Moon, the Grotto of Evil Spirits, and the Grotto of the Dead. Look for the “gargoyle” carved by nature. Boggle at the eerie beauty of the Glistening Draperies, stone formations evoking soft folds of fabric. Ask how the “Lucky Fried Egg” came to be such good fortune.
WALK IN HISTORIC FOOTSTEPS
Eastern Woodland Indians used the caverns for shelter and water and made arrowheads and knives from stone here. Centuries later, the caverns made a perfect hideaway for locals distilling illegal moonshine. See a replica of a homemade still, tucked far from the prying eyes of “revenue agents” out to smash the moonshine trade.
YOUR GUIDE REVEALS SECRETS
Visits are by guided tour only, with experienced guides unveiling all the mysteries here. Just turn up at the Forbidden Caverns gift shop, where all tours begin. Though you can’t get advance tickets, don’t worry. Tours depart frequently and guides work to keep wait times short. The average tour lasts 55 minutes. The temperature is consistently 58 degrees, and the cavern can be wet, so wear appropriate shoes and clothes.
CLOSE BY, YET WORLDS AWAY
Forbidden Caverns is only 35 minutes from Gatlinburg and 30 minutes from Pigeon Forge. You can spend a morning at Dollywood and still have time to get to Forbidden Caverns and enter its magical world.
Forbidden Caverns is open from April 1 to Nov. 30. All ages are welcome, so bring the family to make unforgettable memories. Tickets are $20 for ages 13 and up, $12 for kids ages five through 12, and kids four and younger are free.