The Lost Sea


The Cherokee Indians knew of the Craighead Caverns, and the Confederates mined saltpeter there during the Civil War. However, it wasn't until 1905 that "the Lost Sea" was discovered deep within the caverns. This 4.5-acre subterranean lake is one of the largest in the world. The visible portion of the lake measures 800 feet long, 220 feet wide, and 80 feet deep. It is a U.S. Registered National Landmark. Guides lead visitors on 75-minute tours through a series of large chambers and past a variety of unusual rock formations, including rare anthodites, commonly known as "cave flowers." Unlike many commercial caves, this one is presented as nearly as possible in its natural state. Lighting is tasteful and minimal, preserving the cave's spooky, otherworldly atmosphere. The temperature remains at about 58. Also on the grounds, Old Sweetwater Village comprises a general store, restaurant, sweets shop, glassblower's, blacksmith's, gem mine, nature trail, and picnic area. The Lost Sea is located between Knoxville and Chattanooga off I-75 (exit 60). For more information, visit


140 Lost Sea Rd
Sweetwater, TN 37874


35.53494000, -84.43195000
Visit Website
(423) 337-6616

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