To ensure that Tennessee State Parks continues to provide quality areas for recreational caving, all cavers should register online or with park management three days before your visit.
Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email. This is your digital receipt. Please keep this receipt with you while visiting. At some locations, you may be asked to print your receipt and leave it on your car dashboard.
It is recommended that you participate in a ranger-led tour of the cave to become familiar with the cave and caving. The cave environment is fragile. Visitors that choose to explore the cave should be careful not to disturb any formations or small animals that live in the cave.
Permits are issued per person. Each person must register, with the exception of minor children accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Be sure to follow all Clean Caving Guidelines, Leave No Trace, and all park rules and regulations.
- Bunkum Cave is open to the public from June 1 through August 31.
- Daily Limit: 20 Permits issued per day (1 permit per person, regardless of age)
- Do not cave alone.
- Visitors must be out of the cave and off the trails by park closing.
- Cavers should keep a paper copy or digital version of their permit and permit number with them at all times while in the park.
- Cavers should be ready to show proof that they are registered and complying with rules & regulations.
- Groups of eight or more, please contact the park prior to your visit. Group size is limited to 20 people.
- The park manager may close the cave at his or her discretion.
Visitors are welcome to explore the beginning of the cave but are required to obtain a permit to venture past the cave entrance.
The cave is reached via the Bunkum Cave Trail. The trail is moderate with gentle hills. It is approximate 0.50 miles to the cave. The entrance to the cave is an impressive 100 feet wide by 50 feet tall. The cave length is approximately one mile in length.
Permits are free. We ask that you fill out a short registration form, sign a liability waiver, and familiarize yourself with the Clean Caving Guidelines. To recieve your permit, please fill out our registration form.
For more information about caving in TNStateParks please visit tnstateparks/activities/caving.
Please visit safely and familiarize yourself with the latest COVID-19 guidelines on our Keeping Visitors Healthy page.