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Old 11-22-2009, 06:51 AM   #1
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Mammoth Caves in January

We are leaving Waterford Mi. on 1/9/10 and are considering visiting Mammoth Caves on our way to winter in Winter Haven FL. Can anyone advise me on what to expect weather wise as well as whether road grades are better or worse than I75 which we usually take. Any and all feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, 2-bone
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:13 AM   #2
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Right now, the weather in this area is not bad, just a lot wetter this year than most. Usually the weather in January can be mild, but then other years it gets below freezing. The temperature in the cave is the same all year. The only problem is that if it snows, this area does not get all the roads cleared as quickly as they do further north. Good part is that it generally is cleared or melts within a couple of days either way. Come on down!! ( Of course, I do remember a couple of times that Kentucky has closed all the Interstates at the state line due to snow.) Better stranded in an RV on the interstate than in a car!
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:56 PM   #3
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Weather should not be too bad.. But as for road graves.

Mammoth cave is not "right on the freeway" it is several miles back on local roads.. I was able to make it with my motor home (A 37'7" Damon Intruder built on a Workhorse W-22 with 8.1 L Vortec and Allison Transmission pulling a 1992 Lumina APV (4,000 pounds curb weight) overall length 59' MH bumper to Towed Bumper) but....

A couple of those hills.. I was not so sure of.

I would suggest you park the Motor home at a major lot near the freeway and drive in with the towed.

Nice cave by the way.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:08 PM   #4
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Haven't been that way in a couple of years, but there used to be a nice CG right off the interstate.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:22 PM   #5
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Concerning I 75 vs I 65. I only travel I 65 in winter, I 75 has mountains, I 65 doesn't. From Indianapolis the mileage difference is 85 miles longer to drive I 65 to US 231 to I 10. then S to Winter Haven, FL.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 2-bone View Post
We are leaving Waterford Mi. on 1/9/10 and are considering visiting Mammoth Caves on our way to winter in Winter Haven FL. Can anyone advise me on what to expect weather wise as well as whether road grades are better or worse than I75 which we usually take. Any and all feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, 2-bone
2-Bone, I have been to Mammoth Caves and although they are quite remarkable the Luray Caverns are breath taking and they are on your way to Florida. Consider if you will enjoying 2 of these natural wonders if you are able to do so.

I visited Luray this past summer with our grand children. I am looking forward to when our newest Aidan is able to take it all in. I figure another 10 years ought to do it. Grand ma and pa are ready to go to Luray again!
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:43 AM   #7
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Thank you all who replied to my post. Definitely added food for thought. Much appreciated. 2-bone
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Old 11-29-2009, 09:49 AM   #8
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I took a 45'er w/tow right into Mammoth w/o any problems or blood pressure raises - that's 64ft total length 13' 1" high and 51,000lbs. Access road is a 2-laner but plenty of clearance (up/down and sideways).

In the off season you won't have any trouble in the parking lot either, plenty of room. Due to tight curbing your best bet is to park at the back which is the first parking area you hit - click link below for aerial view. Even at 64ft the exit was clean and easy as well, you'll just drive around the perimeter road like the tour buses do. PS, though I didn't stay, the CG apparently can hold you as well.

Be sure to call early and book the down-n-dirty tours if you can. They are spectacular and something you can not do at the (as already stated) actually more scenic Luray Caverns.

Googlle Maps of where to park at Mammoth

Use this Weather Link to watch the big-picture weather patterns - note the ability to change the forecast time frame in the lower right corner!

Forecast Maps : Weather Underground
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:10 AM   #9
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Mammoth caves in February

I know this is a 2 year old thread. It answered some of my questions, thought it's a good starting point.

Thinking about a late February long weekend to Mammoth Caves. I haven't been there. We'd just be there a couple days. Would staying in and doing only National Park "stuff" be workable? I know when I google Mammoth Caves there's lots of tourist trap looking stuff. We have three small kids, 3,5, and 7, not looking serious hiking, just take them and see some caves.

Thanks,
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:56 AM   #10
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I know this is a 2 year old thread. It answered some of my questions, thought it's a good starting point.

Thinking about a late February long weekend to Mammoth Caves. I haven't been there. We'd just be there a couple days. Would staying in and doing only National Park "stuff" be workable? I know when I google Mammoth Caves there's lots of tourist trap looking stuff. We have three small kids, 3,5, and 7, not looking serious hiking, just take them and see some caves.

Thanks,
Kids that age, at least mine and the grandkids, also, seem to really like Mammoth Cave. IMO, a couple of days is about right for a visit. Watch the weather forecast. You should be OK but best to be sure.

Every time someone asks about Mammoth Cave, I get a grin. When our kids were growing up they were scouts, and I did the troop leader/assistant leader thing with them. Every year we would take several groups to Mammoth Caves for an overnight in a large room in the cave set aside for groups. Invariably, as soon as the lights were turned out, one of the kids would loudly pass gas and then you would have 50 or 60 kids giggling for a half hour or so. Sorry, did not mean to hijack the thread - just triggered a memory.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:35 PM   #11
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We took our boys to Mammouth Caves at least 3-4 times over the years.

If your 7 year old is brave, sign up for the Trog Tour. It is a wild caving tour for kids under 12. My youngest son did it when he was about 10 and had a ball. Two guides, hard hats, miners lights.

You might want to look up the story of Floyd Collins who was trapped in Sand Cave in 1925. You can still go to the entrance of Sand Cave in the park. Mix in history with the trip and the kids will never know it.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:41 PM   #12
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The last time I was there the National Park Campground didn't have electric or water (boondocking only). There was a KOA just outside the park that did.
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:14 PM   #13
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We were there a little over a year ago. There were only a handful of other campers so we had lots of choices of which camp site to pick. A tent camper was near us so I felt like we were living in luxury. I was going to invite him for coffee in the morning but he was gone by the time we got up. As tomwalt said, it was boondocking only.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:29 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the info.

Found out the National Park campground that can handle motorhomes is closed until March first. Now debating staying locally vs. maybe a March or April trip.
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