These short days and cold weather may make us Montanans feel like we are living in a cave, so why not actually go explore one? Next week Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is offering an authentic cave exploring experience with their candlelight tours of Lewis and Clark Caverns. The Caverns were not actually discovered by Lewis & Clark, at least not in any records. According to FWP site:
Tom Williams and Bert Pannell first peered into the caverns on a winter day in 1892. They’d been hunting and saw what looked like a column of smoke rising from a hillside. They labored up the mountain to investigate and learned that it wasn’t smoke at all: It was steam, the steady exhalation of living, breathing caves. The warm air was pushed from the mountain’s lungs only to become ice in the cold air, transformed into crystals so tiny they floated skyward and evaporated in the sun…..It took Williams six years to return to what he called the “hole in the rock,” bringing friends and ropes and candles to see just what existed below.
The tour will be led by candlelight, exactly how these first explores saw it! Candles will be provided. For safety reasons, the first (upper) half of the caverns will be shown with the lights on. The lower half of the cave will be by candlelight. This tour starts December 14 and is only offered limited dates through the end of December. The dates they run will be December 14, 15, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29. Reservations can be taken today.
Phone: 406-287-3541 or 406-287-3032
- The tour guides recommend you dress for walking in snow, wind and cold temperatures. The tour covers two miles, and 1 1/4 miles of this are outside and may require walking through snowy conditions.
- Winter tours last 2 hours and start at: 9:30 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 11:45 a.m.,12:30 p.m., 1:15 p.m., and 2:00 p.m., 2:45 p.m.
- Reservations are required. Admission is $15.00 for adults and $8.00 for children. Candles and lanterns are provided with the cost of the tour.
For further information on the caverns you can check out Montana State Park’s website here.