FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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. If you are paying with a credit card, then you can book online (thrillsville.org) or you can call the Thrillsville office (844-254-6244). If you are paying with cash, then you will need to come in to the office to make your reservation. We cannot hold spots on a tour without payment.


  • How long is the tour?

The tours last one hour, but you will need to arrive at the Thrillsville office ½ hour before your scheduled tour time. (The  actual distance of the tour is about 1½ miles.)


  • Do I have to be an experienced kayaker?

The Gorge Underground kayak 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.


  • 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.


  • 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. (The price is $45 per person, however, even if you use a tandem kayak.)


  • Do we ride a shuttle to get to the mine?

No. You will need to arrive at the Thrillsville office ½ hour before your tour time to check-in, and then you will drive your own vehicle about 4 miles up to the Gorge Underground.  (The tour itself is a large loop in the mine, so you will start and end at the same point.)


  • 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.

On the cave boat, children (ages 3-7) are $10, and youth (ages 8-12) are $25.

On the kayak tours, if your child (ages 3-7) is small enough to sit on your lap in the kayak, then they can go as a lap child for $20. Other children would be the regular price of $45.

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.


  • Is there a different price for kids?

On the cave boat tour, a child (ages 3-7) is $10, and a youth (ages 8-12) is $25.

On the kayak tour, a small child (ages 3-7) on your lap costs $20. Other children would be the regular price of $45. 


  • Can I bring my own boat and gear?

Yes. If your bring your own boat and gear, then you can get a $10 discount. However, you must call the office when booking in order to get the “own boat” discount.


  • 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 and will stay in the kayak with you, then it should be OK.  We also recommend that, if you are bringing your dog, you also bring a life-jacket for your dog to wear.


  • Do people ever flip over?

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.  A guide with a rescue boat goes on every tour, just in case.


  • Can more than 12 people go on a kayak 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 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 10 people and one person is paying for the whole group:  10-15 people get a 15% discount, 16-20 people get a 20% discount, and 21 or more people get a 25% discount!  For church/scout group discounts, please call the Thrillsville 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!)