Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park is a United States National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kentucky‘s Caves and Lakes region. It preserves the world’s longest known cave system, with over 392 mi (631 km) of caves. The park was established in 1941 and draws nearly two million visitors annually.

A national park ranger guiding tourists through Mammoth Cave.

. . . Mammoth Cave National Park . . .

The cave is approximately 15 million years old. Humans have been visiting the cave for approximately 4,000 years, although it was only discovered by Europeans in 1797. Through 1816 the cave was mined for nitrates, used in gunpowder, but after the War of 1812 ended, it was sold and cave tours became popular. With nearly 200 years as a tourist attraction Mammoth Cave is one of North America’s oldest tourist destinations.

Mammoth Cave National Park is home to over 70 threatened, endangered or state listed species. More than 130 species are regular inhabitants of the caves. These species are divided almost equally among three classes of cave life: obligate cave dwellers known as troglobites, facultative species which can complete their life cycle in or out of caves (troglophiles), and those that use caves for refuge (trogloxenes). The park has cave species and biotic cave communities that are among the most diverse in the world.

Because of its diverse array of landscapes and habitats, the park contains an extraordinary 1300 species of plants.

Mammoth Cave National Park
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
 
3.5
 
 
46
28
 
 
 
3.9
 
 
51
32
 
 
 
4.6
 
 
61
39
 
 
 
4.4
 
 
71
47
 
 
 
5.4
 
 
79
55
 
 
 
4.4
 
 
86
64
 
 
 
4.6
 
 
89
68
 
 
 
4.1
 
 
88
67
 
 
 
4
 
 
83
59
 
 
 
3.8
 
 
72
49
 
 
 
4.3
 
 
60
40
 
 
 
5.2
 
 
48
31
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches
See Mammoth Cave’s 7 day forecast   Data from NOAA (1981-2010)
Metric conversion
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
 
89
 
 
8
−2
 
 
 
99
 
 
11
0
 
 
 
117
 
 
16
4
 
 
 
112
 
 
22
8
 
 
 
137
 
 
26
13
 
 
 
112
 
 
30
18
 
 
 
117
 
 
32
20
 
 
 
104
 
 
31
19
 
 
 
102
 
 
28
15
 
 
 
97
 
 
22
9
 
 
 
109
 
 
16
4
 
 
 
132
 
 
9
−1
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm

Kentucky has a moderate climate, characterized by warm, yet moist conditions. Summers are usually warm, and winters cool. An average 46 in (116 cm) of precipitation falls during the year, with spring being the rainiest season.

. . . Mammoth Cave National Park . . .

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. . . Mammoth Cave National Park . . .