The Cave of the Winds was a natural cave behind Bridal Veil Falls at the Niagara Falls. A thrilling walk on Niagara Falls’ wild side, the spectacular Cave of the Winds Tour takes visitors into a stormy mist zone, where “soaking up the experience” takes on new meaning!
The journey begins with an elevator ride 175 feet down into the Niagara Gorge. Geared-up in a souvenir rain poncho and specially designed sandals, guests follow wooden walkways along Niagara River to the Hurricane Deck, just a few breathtaking feet from the torrents of Niagara Falls. Here, rushing Bridal Veil Falls creates tropical storm-like conditions. Talk about a rush! Nowhere else on Earth gets you closer to the Falls!
Each spring, special-edition Cave of the Winds Tours are offered so visitors can experience a seasonal version of the attraction and see the decks being built for the upcoming season. Skilled workers rebuild the wooden boardwalks that will allow summer visitors to reach the Hurricane Deck – the walkways and decks are removed every November and reassembled each spring to protect them from the extreme winter weather conditions that prevail in the Niagara Gorge.
The cave was some 130 feet (40m) high, 100 feet (30m) wide and 30 feet (9m) in depth. It was discovered in 1834, and originally dubbed Aeolus’ Cave, after the Greek god of winds. Guided tours began officially in 1841, and continued until a rock fall in 1920 made it clear the passage was no longer safe. The tour officially reopened in 1924, now bringing visitors to the front of the Bridal Veil instead of behind it, on a series of decks and walkways. Tropical storm-like conditions can be experienced, as winds can reach up to 68 mph underneath the falls. The cave was obliterated in a massive 1954 rockfall and subsequent dynamiting of a dangerous overhang.
Today, the “Cave of the Winds” is the name of a tourist attraction near the same site. An elevator takes people from the area between the American and Canadian Falls down to the level of the Niagara River at the base of the American Falls. A series of redwood decks and platforms allow sightseers to walk right up to the base of the Bridal Veil Falls with water crashing down right on them and flowing beneath the decking.
The decking is removed each fall due to the potential damage caused by ice buildup at the falls and re-installed each spring by park officials for sightseers to enjoy the experience. The decking is not secured to the rocks below by bolts or other construction materials; the wood beam supports are simply wedged into the rock crevices.
2013 Pricing – opening date May 9th 2013
- $11.00 US for adults, $8.00 US for children six to 12 (must be at least 42″ (106cm) tall), Admission is free for children 6 and under at all attractions in Niagara Falls State Park.
- Open 9:00 am – 7:30 pm seven days a week
- Parking available on Goat Island for $8.00 per car.
Phone: (716) 278-1730
Address: Goat Island, Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Cave of the Winds Tour tickets are available separately, and as part of the value-added Niagara Falls USA Discovery Pass.