There are not many places in the country more fun to take little boys exploring that into the Lewis and Clark Caverns! We stopped here to explore the caves on our way from Whitefish, MT to Bozeman, MT on our summer road trip to Yellowstone.
We arrived at the caverns a few minutes before the tour began. There are no bathrooms or water along the trail so it’s important to plan accordingly and bring some water bottles with you. It also isn’t stroller friendly so an infant carrier is essential if you will have a young child with you.
To start the tour, you begin with a 3/4 mile hike up a pretty steep incline that winds you up to the cave entrance. You aren’t rushed through the hike and can go as slow as you might need to which was really nice since we had seven kids along with us all six and under.
When we entered the cave, the temperature dropped and the cool air felt great. It regularly stays in the 50’s inside the caves all year round. Our guide talked to us all about the original explorers who discovered the cave. You might think that Lewis and Clark were the first to discover the caves but in fact they didn’t actually find the caves but were the first into the valley. The caves were named to honor the explorers as this area was a significant part of their journey where they split – one in search of horses and the other to find the river.
The first room inside of the cave we saw several bats the kids loved to see! Then, we started down into the deep of the caves. I was in awe as I looked around at the formations all around us as we went from room to room and learned about the original explorers and the tours that have taken place over the years. Our guide pointed out several formations giving them clever names such as being a frog, elephant, or alligator based on their shape. Even naming a formation that looked like Romeo & Juliet.
My favorite part of the caves was one part that had a really low clearing that you could try to crawl through or, more easily, slide on through. It was really cool to slide down on the formations and the small opening bringing us from one open area to another. There were lots of low ceilings and winding paths that might make the tour hard for some but made it really interesting and exciting for me and my boys!
The Lewis and Clark caverns are located about an hour north of Bozeman. There is a $5 entrance fee per vehicle and then the cave tour is just $10 per adult and $5 per child ages 6 and up. The tour takes approximately two hours and moderate hiking is involved.
No compensation or complimentary services were received for this post. The opinions express above are my own.