On June 29th I made my third trip to Lost Creek State Natural Area to explore the caves at the top of Lost Creek Falls. I mentioned then that I would making at least one more trip, to explore the Lost Creek Cave… and the legend that there is a beautiful waterfall in the depths of that cave. It is true… and we found it! 🙂
Not only did we find the waterfall (and it was breathtakingly beautiful!), but I decided to climb it. 🙂 Pitch black, wet, tiny slick ledges and all…
Here’s a video of me climbing the cave falls:
That required more balance and upper body strength than it might seem, lol. Especially given how DARK and wet it was, and that I had no idea what to expect around the corner – or anywhere I put my hands and feet. Like spiders, cave crickets, bats, or who knows what might be living in there! 😯 haha. Eek!
I put together a video slideshow of the entire caving experience, and I also included the photos below with more detailed descriptions for you.
But first, a quick Video Tour inside Lost Creek Cave:
Fun Fact: “The beauty of Lost Creek attracted the Walt Disney Corporation in 1994 to film several scenes from the “Jungle Book” at the area, utilizing both the beautiful Falls, and the Cave entrance.”
“Lost Creek Cave is one of the larger caves in Tennessee, with five entrances and seven miles of mapped passages.” –source
Hiking down to the Lost Creek Cave entrance is a short & easy trek. You’ll hardly break a sweat getting to the cave, even on the hottest July afternoon in Tennessee – which is exactly what this was!
Here’s the main cave entrance:
There’s a cold breeze coming out of the cave that feels like air conditioning, which was perfect for some rock climbing exercise before the big caving adventure. 🙂
The entrance to Lost Creek Cave is littered with huge boulders, and we found the same throughout the cave – which made for A LOT of rock climbing and tough navigating in the pitch black depths of the cave, lol.
While there are 7 miles of passages inside the cave, the Lost Creek State Natural Area only has about a mile of trail between the waterfalls and the cave.
It’s a gorgeous “natural area” with tons to explore in a small space!
Here I am, all geared up for my first big caving experience! 🙂
We took a couple of flashlights as well but didn’t end up using those, just our caving headlamps were enough really. Hands-free lights are best because it took all four feet and hands to navigate the cave!
We entered the cave just after 4pm on Thursday, tracking the cave hike & workout with my FitBit Charge HR.
This was our last view of daylight for the next 3 hours… looking out from just inside the Lost Creek Cave entrance.
Inside the cave it was pitch black, slippery, and full of rocks. There were large openings, narrow passages, and tons to explore!
Our main objective was to find the waterfall we heard was at the end of the cave, but I made a pit stop to do some rock climbing & exploring on the way…
It was hard to see in the dark, but it looked like there was something at the top of the rock wall. I could barely make it out with just my headlamp, but I noticed that yellow marker on the wall (top right, below) and decided to explore!
This is of course very dangerous. There was no one around for miles, there’s no cell phone signal, so falling to imminent death (or grueling torturous bone-breaking) is simply not an option.
Once I got to the top, I found three small cave entrances up there. Cool! A mini-cave system inside a cave. 🙂
Behind me you can see the smaller cave entrance we decided to explore:
It was really cool. 🙂
I’ll give you two guesses what we named it. 🙂 haha
It was also FULL of giant cave crickets and spiders! 😯 Eek!
We climbed back down and finished hiking toward the back of the cave, and noticed all along the way there were signs pointing “out” in spray paint. There was impressive navigation in there!
To get to the actual waterfall we had to climb up a rock wall and into a large hole. But once we saw the spray painted sign here, we KNEW there was indeed a waterfall in the cave! We could also hear the water by then, just barely…
It was a crazy hike from there to the actual waterfall – and it wasn’t super easy to find. We had to climb over large boulders in the pitch black, and pretty much just guess our way. We ended up above the falls somehow at first, then had to hike back around and down a large hill of rocks into a huge pit to get to it.
But we found it! 🙂
It was amazingly beautiful. 🙂 I’m guessing a 30-40 foot waterfall, but it was really hard to gauge distance in the dark…
Climbing the waterfall was fun. 🙂 Dangerous, but fun!
Hiking back out meant climbing back up the wall of rocks. Some of them were so large that it was a real challenge. See the big tilted flat rock below? That was so big (maybe 15 feet?) I just had to SLIDE down it, lol. Scary! 😛
According to the website there are 7 miles of mapped passages inside Lost Creek Cave. We only did 2-3 miles, and came in and out the main entrance.
While we spent 3 full hours exploring inside the cave, we were able to trek from the waterfall back to the main entrance in 18 short minutes (at a FAST pace).
Outside of the main cave entrance and a short walk over is Lost Creek Falls.
On my last trip to Lost Creek I hiked the top of the falls, and this is me sitting way up on top of the waterfall you see above:
We were famished after all that hiking, rock climbing and caving… so we sat at the base of Lost Creek Falls and warmed up and enjoyed some low carb snacks. 🙂
This was such a FUN adventure, and GREAT exercise!
There’s much more to explore inside Lost Creek Cave, including other passages and cave entrances/exits, so we just may go back again for a 5th trip! For such a small state natural area (only about a mile of hiking) there is TONS to do and see there!
These fun outdoor adventures are my favorite way to get in shape. Rock climbing has become a fun challenge I like to do anywhere I get the chance. 🙂
I can really tell a difference in my upper body strength now too, so that plus my home workouts are really making a difference.
These are my summer hiking & outdoor adventure essentials:
I’m totally addicted to my Fitbit. 🙂 I use the Fitbit Charge HR and it’s the ONLY thing that FINALLY motivated me to get moving and get more active!
I love my new CaliCase Waterproof Phone Case too, which is great for using your phone around water. You can even use it and take great photos while it’s IN the case.
The strap and double-lock hook make for great hands-free access to your phone, especially when you’re in sticky adventures where you need all your hands and do NOT want to drop your phone – like waterfalls and muddy caves, lol.
And you already know I’m partial to my Northside Burke II Water Sandals (yes, they make them for men too!). They’re the perfect “summer adventure shoes” for hiking, walks, creek wading, kayaking… and of course, caving! 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this fun photo/video tour of my caving adventure!
I’m having a blast on my “local travels” and fun outdoor adventures this summer, and it’s really helping me tone up – fast!
Check Google for your local area and search for things like: hiking, state natural area, state park, waterfall, etc (along with your town, county and state) to see what fun things YOU can find to get into. 🙂
The Lost Creek State Natural Area is about an hour from me, and most of the fun hikes & waterfalls I’ve done this season are within or close to an hour away. Some we’ve found are 90 minutes or more – but well worth the trip!
Lost Creek is one of my favorite little spots, and I definitely want to go back and explore more of that cave. 🙂
I included a few extra pictures in the Video Slideshow. It’s about 2 1/2 minutes:
Prior to going low carb and getting healthy & in shape, I never would have been so adventurous or daring.
It feels GREAT to have the strength to do things like rock climbing and extended hikes… and to explore places I never (ever!) would have ventured into before. 🙂