Do I need to book my tour ahead of time?
Yes! We highly recommend booking tours in advance. In the busy season many of our tours will fill up and during the slow season, we need to know what tours are going out so that we have guides available.
Do I need to pay when I make a reservation?
Yes, we require payment at the time that you make your reservation.
How long is the tour?
The tours last one hour, but you will need to arrive 15 minutes prior to your tour time for check in and to put on gear.
Do I have to be experienced?
The Gorge Underground Kayak and Sup tours are fine for beginners. There is no wind, waves, or current in the mine, so it is a gentle, easy paddle. It is very dark, but everyone will have a helmet with a headlamp, and the guides will have a spotlight to highlight different features of the mine. There will be a quick intro to paddling given for each craft before departure.
What should we wear?
You will want to have a jacket or sweatshirt because it is only about 52 degrees in the mine. You can wear shorts or pants, and whatever shoes are comfortable for you. Do your best to avoid blue jeans or heavy shoes.
Will we get wet on the tour?
We try our best to keep you dry, but there are times when you may get a little wet. There may be a little bit of water in the bottom of your kayak, and sometimes the seats are a bit wet. Some people also get wet from the water dripping off their paddles, but if you hold your paddle low this should not be a problem. There are also a few places in the mine where the water drips from the ceiling, but your guides will direct you around these places.
How cold is it?
The mine stays a constant temperature of about 52 degrees year round, and the water temperature stays about 40 degrees.
Does weather affect the tour?
No, it really doesn’t. The entire tour is underground in the mine, so our tours go out rain or shine! (In fact, some people prefer to go on a rainy day so they can do other activities when it’s sunny.)
Do you have any two-person kayaks?
Yes, we do have some tandem kayaks. If you would prefer to use a tandem with someone in your group, simply let the guides know when you get there, and they will pull out a tandem for you to use. Pricing is still by person.
Is the tour appropriate for children?
The cave boat tour is probably the best choice if you have small children. All children need to be at least about 40 lbs. and able to wear a PFD and helmet and sit still for the full hour-long tour.
The Gorge Underground is dark, but everyone will have a helmet with a headlamp, and the guides also have spotlights to point out various features in the mine.
We're sorry, but we cannot accommodate children under 5 years of age.
Can I bring my dog?
We strongly advise against it. If you have a large dog, or you think your dog will jump out into the water, then please do not bring it. If your dog is small and is used to kayaking or paddle boarding and will stay with you, then it should be OK. We also require that, if you are bringing your dog, you also bring a life-jacket for your dog to wear.
Do people ever fall in?
We have had a few, but it doesn't happen very often at all. The kayaks are relatively stable and are safe even for beginners. The Stand Up Paddle boards are also very wide and stable. A guide with rescue training goes on every tour, just in case.
Can more than 12 people go on tour?
If you are coming with more than 12 people, we highly recommend our cave boat tour which can accommodate up to 20 people.
We limit our kayak tours to 12 people and our sup tours to 10 because it becomes very difficult to hear the guides when you are spread out in a bigger group. For larger family groups or church/scout groups, we occasionally make exceptions to this rule at the manager’s discretion.
Do you offer group discounts?
Yes! You can get a group discount if you have at least 12 people and one person is paying for the whole group: 12-15 people get a 15% discount, 16 or more you get a 20% discount! For church/scout group discounts, please call the office at 844-254-6244. (Church/scout discounts are not available on Saturdays during our busy season, May-October.)
How long in the season are you open?
The Gorge Underground is open year round. We have more tours during the summer and fall, but we have tours available during every season! (The mine stays about 52 degrees year round, so the water in the mine never freezes!)