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Lewis & Clark Caverns

STATE PARK

People on caverns tour. Man and child at overlook. Park ranger and family on a hike. Mom and son hugging in a dome tent.

Lewis & Clark Caverns

STATE PARK

Camp, hike and experience amazing geologic wonders at Montana's first and best-known state park showcase of one of the most highly decorated limestone caverns in the Northwest.

HOURS & LOCATION

SEASON & HOURS
Park
Main Visitor Center, trails and campground open year round.
 
Caverns
Access to cave by guided tours only, May 1 to September 30, and holiday candlelight tours December 20-22 & 27-29.
 
Campground
Open year round.
 
Water
Available May 1 - Sept 30.

Visitor Center
Visitor Center open all year except closed Thanksgiving, Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1.
Winter hours, October 1 - March 31:
Open Wed - Sun, 10 am - 4 pm.
Summer hours:
8:30 am - 4:30 pm daily;
Open until 6:30pm in mid-summer.

LOCATION
25 Lewis and Clark Caverns Rd.
Whitehall, MT 59759
Latitude/Longitude: (45.82289 / -111.85082)
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FEE INFORMATION »

Reserve Campground

Campground Map

Trail Map

2019 Program Schedule

Montana State Parks Guide

MEET THE PARK MANAGER
Photo of Rhea Armstrong, Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park Manager
Rhea Armstrong began working for Montana State Parks as a seasonal tour guide at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park in 1986 while attending Western Montana College in Dillon majoring in Elementary Education. She continued working summers at the park throughout her teaching career, and in 2005, became the assistant manager. Rhea was promoted to Park Manager of Lost Creek, Anaconda Smoke Stack, and Granite Ghost Town State Parks in 2013.

CONTACT

CONTACT INFO
Mailing Address:
Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park
PO Box 489
Whitehall, MT 59759

Phone: 406-287-3541
Email: rarmstrong@mt.gov

Lewis & Clark Caverns

STATE PARK


Photo of steps on the classic Caverns tour

Choose the Best Guided Tour for You

Access to cave is by guided tours only. 

Classic Cavern Tour

  • Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
  • Length: 2 miles / 2 hours
  • Schedule
    • May 1 – June 14, and August 20 - September 30
      Ticket sales 9 am – 4:30 pm daily; first come, first served. Wait times approximately ½ hour or less.
    • June 15 – August 19
      Ticket sales 9 am - 6:30 pm; first come, first served. Wait times approximately ½ hour or less weekday mornings & evenings; mid-day and weekend waits can be longer.
  • Cost: $12 / person, 12 years & older; $5 for children (6-11 years); 5 years & under are free. Purchase tickets upon arrival. No reservations taken.

Take our classic cave tour to experience these spectacular caverns lined with stalactites, stalagmites, columns and helictites. The tour begins with a ¾-mile gradual uphill walk to the cave entrance. The route inside the cave is lighted for a safe and enjoyable visit, and the caves are naturally air-conditioned. Kids especially have fun on the tour's famous Beaver Slide and enjoy the occasional bat sighting. The tour includes 600 stairs and involves ducking, waddling, bending and sliding as you make your way through the cavern. 

 

Paradise Tour

Photo of visitor in wheelchair on the Paradise tour

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 1 mile / 70 minutes
  • Schedule
    • May 1 – June 14
      Tours are offered at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm.
    • June 15 – September 30
      Tours are offered at 10 am, noon, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm.
  • Cost: $12 / person, 12 years & older; $5 for children (6-11 years); 5 years & under are free. Paradise Tours often sell out. We recommend early arrival to purchase tickets and guarantee a spot.

This tour is intended for individuals with a physical limitation preventing them from being able to take the classic tour. Walk a level ½ mile trail to see the Paradise Room, the largest, most active and decorated portion of the cave. Part of the tour is wheelchair accessible. Priority given to individuals with limited mobility. Very suitable for small children. Recommended for those 5 years and younger.

Wild Cave Tour

Photo of visitor on the Wild Cave tour

  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Length: 2 miles / 3 hours
  • Schedule   June 16 – August 18, Tuesday and Sunday only, 5:30 pm.
  • Cost: $30/person; must be 12 years or older. Reservations and pre-payment (Visa or Mastercard) required: (406) 287-3541. No refunds to cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to tour time. Cancellation fee applies.

This challenging introduction to caving gives an up-close look at some of the wildest speleothems that Lewis and Clark Caverns offer. Explore the caverns with only headlamps and expect a lot of bending, crawling, duck waddling and few handrails. Pants, long-sleeve shirts and sturdy shoes required. Helmet, kneepads, gloves and headlamps provided.

Winter Holiday Candlelight Tour

Photo of visitors on the candlelight tour

  • Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
  • Length: 2 miles / 2 hours
  • Schedule   December 20-22 & 27-29.
  • Cost: $20 / adult, 12 years & older; $8 for children (6-11 years); children 5 years & under are discouraged from attempting the tour. Reservations required: 406-287-3541. Tickets are non-refundable.

See the colorful limestone formations by the festive glow of candlelight. For safety reasons, the upper half of the Caverns is shown with the electric lights on. The lower half of the cave is by candlelight. Candle lanterns are provided by the park. Parents need to use their own judgment if children will be comfortable in the darkness of the cave and in the outside cold temperatures. 1¼ miles of the tour is outside and may require walking to and from the cave through snowy conditions. Dress for walking in snow, wind and cold. Coffee, hot chocolate and cookies will be available at the visitor center before and after the tours.

Help us conserve the bat population at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park. White nose syndrome is a fungal disease, well established in the eastern portion of North America and recently found in the west. It does not affect humans, but has proven lethal to bats. If you have been to a cave or mine in the past two years, do not wear the same clothing, shoes or accessories as you wore there on our caverns tour. If it cannot be avoided (for example, eye glasses or shoes) please contact park staff the day of your visit in order to obtain a disinfecting wipe.

Did Lewis and Clark Discover the Caverns?

The Corps of Discovery travelled within today's park boundaries but explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and members of the expedition never set foot in the actual caverns. President Theodore Roosevelt used the name Lewis & Clark when he made the caverns a National Monument on the same day the Grand Canyon received this honor. Roosevelt named the site Lewis and Clark Cavern National Monument--recognizing the fact that it had been over 100 years since the famed Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery expedition and nothing in the federal system had yet been named for them. The Grand Canyon went on to become a National Park while Lewis & Clark Caverns became Montana's first state park. In 2018, the park was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Activities

  1. Bicycling
  2. Bird Watching
  3. Camping
  4. Canoeing
  5. Deer Hunting
  6. Fishing
  7. Group Camping
  8. Guided Cave Tours
  9. Hiking
  10. History
  11. Hunting
  12. Lewis And Clark
  13. Nature
  14. Photography
  15. Picnicking
  16. River Fishing
  17. RV Camping
  18. Tent Camping
  19. Visitor Center
  20. Wildlife Viewing


Amenities
Some amenities are seasonal. Check with the park for availability.
  1. ADA Accessible
  2. Camp Host
  3. Electricity
  4. Established Fire Pits
  5. Firewood for Sale
  6. Gift Shop
  7. Holiday Event
  8. Interpretive Display
  9. Maps
  10. Parking
  11. Pets Allowed
  12. Picnic Shelter
  13. Playground
  14. Public Restroom
  15. RV Dump Station
  16. RV Hookups
  17. Shower
  18. Toilets (Flush)
  19. Toilets (Vault)
  20. Tours
  21. Trash Removal
  22. Water


Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park
 
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