Oh, no, here come the friends and relatives! And you're in charge of Montana-style entertainment. Why not start in a cave?

Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is ready to launch advance cave tour ticket sales starting tomorrow (Wednesday, June1). Tour ticket reservations dates run from June 4 through September 30. You can reserve tickets by calling 1-855-922-6768, or for online reservations, go to the Montana FWP Lewis and Clark Cavern website page.

As of last Saturday, May 28, the upper visitor area opened, and cave tours are offered six days per week, Wednesdays through Mondays. The ticket office currently opens at 9:00 a.m., and the last tour departs at 4:30 p.m. Hours may possibly expand during the summer months.

Both the Paradise and the Classic tours will be offered but in limited numbers, so purchasing tickets in advance is strongly recommended. The campground, trails, showers and comfort station are also open now.

If you're looking to take in some educational opportunities as early as this weekend, you won't want to miss the Caverns' Bat Talk this Friday evening, June 3, starting at 8:00 p.m, at the Lewis and Clark Campground Amphitheater. The park is home to 12 species of bats. The guest speaker will present a natural history of bats in the state and current research being done in Montana to better understand them.

That will be followed the next evening by “Goodness Snakes Alive!” on Saturday, June 4, also at 8:00 p.m. at the Campground Amphitheater. This will provide information on the prairie rattlesnake, which is native to the park's ecosystem. What makes them rattle? What are the best ways to avoid being bitten? And what do you do if you are ever bitten by a rattlesnake?

It's a fascinating place, but some of its amenities can require physical dexterity. We suggest getting better acquainted before you go. And, due to its popularity, we also suggest taking advantage of booking ahead options. Don't look for Montana tourism numbers to dwindle.

Remember, here come the friends and relatives!

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