Ruby Falls – a Private Waterfall

Chattanooga - TN River

We’re in Chattanooga, TN for the weekend. Chatt is the home of moon pies, a large TVA facility, Coca-Cola bottling and of course, Ruby Falls.

Chattanooga - Ruby FallsRuby Falls had been advertised for miles as we drove past the Smokies, Knoxville and into Chattanooga. The Falls, located on Lookout Mountain, are privately owned and does things a lot differently from National Parks and  Forests.

For one, it can advertise. Secondly, it charges $17.95 for a one-hour cave tour that ends at the Falls. There were plenty of families that were happy to pay the admission price and stand in line. We took an elevator down and into the cave. Most of the cave features were given fanciful names like Tobacco Leaves or Elephant Foot.

The tour guides were spared having to give the history of the cave. At one point on the tour, we reached two TV screens which explained the history of the caves and gave a safety lecture. Another thing  you will never see in a Park is a sign encouraging visitors to tip the guides.

At the endpoint, we arrived at Ruby Falls. Leo Lambert who drilled down and found the cave, named the waterfall after his wife, Ruby. The caves have been a tourist attraction for over 80 years.

But there’s much more to Chatt than Ruby Falls. We walked around an art district, which had sculptures at every turn. We walked the Greenway  by the Tennessee River and we ate too much.    


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