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.
It’s 50 degrees underground, so dress in light athletic quick drying layers (you may get a bit damp depending on your paddling skill), extra pair of socks (no shoes allowed in clear kayaks), gloves (great idea) and comfortable shoes. Kids tends to get colder, so dress them warmly. We rent neoprene socks and mitts on the deluxe tours for $2.00 if needed.
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.
The mine stays a constant temperature of about 52 degrees year round, and the water temperature stays about 40 degrees.
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.)
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.
We provide all necessary equipment.
Kayak Tours: Kayak, Paddle, PFD, Helmet & Headlamp
Clear Bottom Kayak Tours: Kayak, Paddle, PFD, Helmet & Headlamp
Stand Up Paddleboard Tours: NRS Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board or Hylife Sit & Stand Hybrid Board, Paddle, PFD, Helmet & Headlamp.
Boat Tour: Boat, PFD, Helmet & Headlamp
Ride Along Child Ticket: PFD, Helmet & Headlamp
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 3 years of age.
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.
30 minutes prior to your tour 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.
The tours last one hour, but you will need to arrive 30 minutes prior to your tour time for check in and to put on gear. Deluxe Tours last 90 minutes for extra time to explore.
The Gorge Underground does not allow any pets on tour.
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!)
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.
Yes! You can get a 20% group discount if you have at least 13 people and one person is paying for the whole group. For church/scout group discounts, please call the office at 844-254-6244.
(Group discounts and church/scout discounts are not available on Saturdays or holiday weekends during our busy season, May-October.)
Classic Tour Cancellation Policy:
We understand that sometimes plans change. Please read our policy fully.
If you need to cancel your tour, you will be charged a rebooking fee to receive a gift card or to move your reservation to a different date. The rebooking fees are as follows:
7 or more days before your tour – $10 fee
6 days before your tour – $25 fee
1-5 days before your tour – $50 fee
Day of your tour – $75 fee
No shows are not eligible for rescheduling, gift card, or refund.
We reserve the right to decline any person as a tour participant if the person’s behavior, health, or mental condition impedes the operation of the tour.
We’re Right in the Heart of Red River Gorge
Convenient for groups coming from:
Lexington, KY: 1 hr
Louisville, KY: 1 hr 59 mins
Ashland, NC: 2 hrs 4 mins
Cincinatti, OH: 2 hrs 2 mins
Nashville, TN: 4 hrs 3 mins