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“Not for those out of shape”

The Lost Sea Adventure
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Lost Sea is open daily except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The Lost Sea is America's Largest Underground Lake. All tours are guided tours and last for approximately one hour and twenty minutes. Reservations are not required. The adult rate is $19.95 and children 5-12 are $10.95 children 4 and under are free. We do offer a group rate for groups of 15 or more. We also offer a Wild Cave Adventure tour for groups of 12 or more. You may even spend the night on the Wild Cave Tour. The Lost Sea is also a Civil War Trail Marker. The oldest known date in the cave is a date of 1863. This date has been carbon tested and does prove to be an authentic date.
Reviewed 6 September 2013

This was extremely interesting if you love history and exploring. It's quite a walk down on loose dirt and rocks and the hand rails are very low so you have to be careful. Once you get to the bottom you take a boat out on a lake 75 feet deep in places and there are rainbow trout that rush the boat to be fed by the attendant. Very relaxing down there. The trip up is the bugger, it's a 45 degree angle and nearly a mile. Even most elderly did great, I had trouble due to a partially paralyzed right side but I made it. Boy if you walked that twice a day you'd sure be in shape! There are overnight spelunking tours too if you can fit through the test opening. Nice people and it was worth it.

1  Thank wvhillgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"boat ride"
in 241 reviews
"rainbow trout"
in 61 reviews
"glass bottom"
in 59 reviews
"glass blower"
in 39 reviews
"tour guide"
in 87 reviews
"largest underground lake"
in 27 reviews
"rest stops"
in 18 reviews
"total darkness"
in 18 reviews
"nature trail"
in 20 reviews
"gift shop"
in 64 reviews
"general store"
in 40 reviews
"feed the fish"
in 14 reviews
"gem mining"
in 11 reviews
"interesting cave"
in 12 reviews
"cave features"
in 9 reviews
"under ground"
in 10 reviews
"wild tour"
in 14 reviews

642 - 646 of 863 reviews

Reviewed 5 September 2013

The staff was friendly & we didn't have to wait long for our tour to start. The tunnel & cave is a chilly 58 degrees so make sure you bring a jacket. The cave tour was good, but nothing compared to Tuckaleechee Caverns. I was expecting a little more from the glass bottom boat ride, it was a little disappointing, but a good experience overall.

Thank Sheyenne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2013

I live about an hour from "The Lost Sea" and have heard of this since I moved to this area 30 years ago, but never took the time to go. Now the mom of three kids, we decided to take the trip up. The staff was very kind. We walked in and were given a tour time that was a 15 minute wait. You first head down a long yellow tunnel. There your tour guide will introduce and give you the "rules of the road". Our tour guide "Jake" was WONDERFUL! Very engaging and funny. What I found most interesting about this tour was not just the geological info, but the historical and social into. SPOILER ALERT: Don't read this section if you don't want to hear, but you will see actual food stored here in the 50's in case of nuclear war, a moonshine distillery, authenticated signatures from civil war soldiers, Native American council rooms to name a few and lots of great stories to go along with them. I read about the ferns stuck on the lights as a bad decoration, well our tour guide explained that because they do look kind of worse for wear. He said they call those, "Tag a long ferns", because as tourists walk in, the might have a spore or a tiny seed on them or pollen and the humidity is so high in there, that when the spores seek the only light sources, which are the man made lights, they decide to land there and grow and the high humidity waters them. They weren't much to look at, but I found "nature finding a way" so interesting. He also debunked that their fish are blind and that since the water it lit and they aren't in darkness they do not lose their vision but only about 20%. Seeing all the cave formations is always interesting. I must mention, CLAUSTROPHOBIA. I have claustrophobia in tight spaces and I did not know we were headed to an undergrown cave...for some odd reason..until we were almost there. I was very nervous and couldn't leave my husband to do this with the three kids. So I decided to forge on, and I NEVER felt tight, or claustrophobic. There is ANOTHER 3 hour 'WILDERNESS" tour you can do the tigh stuff. In MOST spots, the ceiling is EXTREMELY tall, and occasionally when you have to duck, it is so wide you don't feel cramped. He also announced they have exit plans for emergencies and there were several phones located throughout for a quick escape. This made me feel better too. Ok, now, back to the tour. I am SO glad we read online before we went because this was Labor Day, we would have been in shorts and flip flops. But it is cool in there and you will be walking up and down a fairly steep grade on red clay. So follow their advice and wear your jeans, sock, shoes with good tread and bring a jacket. We all wore our jackets until we got deeper into the cave where it actually felt warmer. The underground sea boatride is short. You get to feed the fish. But we were just marveling that this was under the ground, this HUGE body of water. It truly is fascinating. If you have trouble walking long distances or steep grades (bad knees etc) this might be a tough trip. There are several resting points that the guide stops on, but I did hear one lady say, "I'm not gonna make it". who was elderly. However, I have a 10 year old with a walking disability and she did just fine. We just took our time. I also have a 3 year old, and she did fine. There was a couple with a stroller and they had to really push to get up the hills, but they all did fine with no complaints. So I think the difficulty of the trek is dependent on the individual, but I think it's important to share for those with bad knees or shortness of breath etc. I say this to say the guides are EXTREMELY considerate and make all accommodations for all ages, and abilities. The gift shop was affordable. Afterward, we ditched our jackets and headed across the street to do some "mining" from dirt bags we bought. Our family LOVES to do this and usually there are tiny treasures. These are BIG and came with a card to identify which stone you found. I had an entire quartz crystal point in my bag. I was truly shocked. It was for the fun of mining...didn't really expect to find something cool. We then went to the glass blower which was totally fun to watch. We didn't eat there, but saw lots of people there eating or bringing a picnic lunch to the area where there was ample seating and tables. We really had a delightful time.

1  Thank meljinqin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2013

This cavern was interesting but not spectacular.
Walking around the caverns was a pleasant but our guide tended to forge ahead with her flashlight leaving us to catch up at each stop.
The boat tour on the underground lake was short and a waste of time.
The fact that they stock the lake with trout that lose their color, go partially blind and can't reproduce was offensive.
I'd recommend the visit if you are in the area but I wouldn't drive 3 hours to get there as we foolishly did

1  Thank Jeffc1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 August 2013

Don't let the parking lot and "village" fool you, the cave tour itself is very impressive. The grounds around the cave are run down and disappointing. The village is small (a sparse gift shop, an ice cream place, and a small glass blowing shop) and can be seen in about 10 minutes. But the main attraction, the cave tour, more than made up for the village.

We got our tickets, waited about 30 minutes for our tour time, and then set off. Our tour guides on the more than an hour long tour were great. Very entertaining and engaged. Although that seems really hit or miss based on other reviews here. The cave is more impressive because of it's size than because of any great formations. Don't expect Carlsbad cavern like beauty. But the cave is huge and the history is unique. The Lost Sea boat tour was equally impressive. Seeing the fish swarm the food through the crystal clear lake water was the highlight of the day for me. Except for the hike back up, even my 3 and 6 year old girls enjoyed the tour.

I came in expecting a cheesy tourist trap but was pleasantly surprised by the place. Well worth the money in my opinion.

1  Thank KDH927
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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