WHITEHALL – Staff at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park are pleased to reopen the cave for the 2022 season.
Tours will be offered until Sept. 30. Visitors are encouraged to visit the state parks website frequently as tour options, times and availability may change throughout the season. Tour reservations will be taken this summer starting Memorial Day weekend by calling 1-855-922-6768 or by visiting fwp.mt.gov/stateparks.
During the month of May, the upper visitor area will be open and cave tours will be offered five days per week, Wednesday through Sunday. Days of operation may expand starting in June.
The Paradise Tour will be offered throughout May, and the Classic Tour will be added in June. The campground and trails are open now, and the showers, comfort station and water stations will reopen as weather allows.
The Paradise Tour includes a view of the largest and most decorative 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 highly recommended for anyone with small children, claustrophobia concerns or mobility challenges.
The Paradise Tour will be offered on the half hour from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday until Memorial Day weekend. Starting Memorial Day weekend, reservations can be made, and tour times will change to 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 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 seniors 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.
The classic tour features a 2-mile journey through the majority of the developed cave tour route, including 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 mobility limitations or claustrophobia.
Bats occupy some rooms that are part of the classic tour. Bats can be susceptible to pathogens carried by people. To reduce risks to sensitive bat populations at the park, visitors will be asked to wear facemasks in rooms that contain bats.
The Classic Tour will be offered starting in June 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 decorative 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.
As always, visitors are asked to not wear any clothing, shoes or accessories, including glasses and cameras, that have been to 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.