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Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park announces tours for 2023 season

Staff at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park are pleased to reopen the cave for the 2023 season.

Tours will be offered through Sept. 30. Both first-come-first-served tours and reservable tours will be offered. Visitors are encouraged to visit the state parks website frequently as tour options, times and availability may change throughout the season. Reservable tours are available from May 25 through Labor Day. To make those reservations, call 1-855-922-6768 or visit fwp.mt.gov/stateparks.

During the season the upper visitor area will be open and cave tours will be offered seven days a week. The gate opens at 8:30 a.m. and the ticket office opens at 9 a.m.

The campground and trails are open, and the showers, comfort station and water stations will reopen as weather allows.

Paradise Tour

The Paradise Tour includes a view of the largest and most decorated room in the cave - the Paradise Room. This 1-mile tour lasts 90 minutes. It includes 15 stairs between two rooms, but the path is mostly level and partly wheelchair accessible. Because the paradise tour provides better accessibility and easier passage, this tour is recommended for visitors with small children, claustrophobia or who prefer a less arduous experience.

The Paradise Tour will be offered every day on a first-come-first-served basis until Memorial Day weekend. Starting Memorial Day weekend, reservations can be made, and tour times will be 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. These times are subject to change, so visit fwp.mt.gov/stateparks prior to your visit.

Tickets for the paradise tour are $10 for visitors ages 62 and older, $15 for visitors ages 15 to 61, $10 for kids ages 5 to 14, and free for anyone 4 or younger.

Classic Tour

The Classic Tour features a 2-mile journey through the majority of the developed cave and includes the second-largest and longest rooms in the cave. This tour lasts for two hours and includes more than 600 stairs, stooping and tight squeezes. It is not recommended for small children, or visitors with claustrophobia or who prefer a less strenuous experience.

Bats occupy some rooms that are part of the classic tour. Bats can be susceptible to pathogens carried by people.

Limited Classic Tours will be offered every day except Tuesdays from May 1 to May 25. Additional tours may be added as staffing allows. The Classic Tour will be offered Wednesday through Monday starting May 26 on the hour from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. by reservable tickets and as staffing allows.

Tickets for the classic tour are $15 for visitors ages 15 and older, $10 for kids ages 5 to 14, and $5 for anyone 4 or younger.

Planning your visit

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park features one of the most decorated limestone caverns in the Northwest, filled with spectacular stalactites, stalagmites, columns and helictites. The park also offers camping, trails to hike or bike, a state-of-the-art visitor center, interpretive displays, a gift shop, food and beverage concessions, an amphitheater, and interpretive events during the summer months.

An $8 entrance fee is required for visitors who are not residents of Montana. Residents of the state normally pay the fee with vehicle registration.

Visitors are asked not to wear any clothing, shoes or accessories, including glasses, jewelry and cameras, that have been in another cave or mine in the past two years. This is to protect bat populations at the Caverns. White-nose syndrome, a fungus that kills entire bat colonies, can be transmitted easily and does not come out of clothing or other materials with normal washing methods. While it does not affect humans, it could have significant impacts to the cave ecosystem.

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park is about 15 miles southeast of Whitehall, along Montana Highway 2. For more information about the park, please visit fwp.mt.gov/stateparks/lewis-and-clark-caverns or call 406-287-3541.

 
 
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