cave of the winds ny

Visiting the Cave of the Winds: Niagara Falls 

Get closer to the waters of Niagara Falls than you ever thought possible through this unique adventure attraction: Cave of the Winds. At the bottom of the Niagara Gorge, put on your yellow poncho and follow a series of stairs and wooden walkways leading to the famous Hurricane Deck. From the railing, you are so close to the Bridal Veil Falls; feel the rushing waters above and the mist spraying you as you experience the force of the falls up close.

This guide to the Cave of the Winds will help you plan an unforgettable Niagara experience, including how long it takes, what it’s like, and visiting tips. 

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

cave of the winds hurricane deck

Is the Cave of the Winds in the USA or Canada? 

Cave of the Winds is on the USA side of Niagara Falls. Located inside Niagara Falls State Park, the attraction is at the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls, the smaller waterfall beside the American Falls. While not the same, the Canadian equivalent attraction would be Journey Behind the Falls, where you walk beside the Canadian Falls.

niagara falls cave of the winds

Is the Cave of the Winds Worth It?

While its name is slightly deceiving, as it is not a cave anymore, you can’t get any closer to the Bridal Veil Falls than this. At the base of one of the most visited natural attractions in the world, it is the top place to see the falls on the American side. The Cave of the Winds was so much fun and one of the best things I did in Niagara Falls, NY, so I would say it’s worth doing. 

cave of the winds history

History of The Cave

Discovered in the 1800s, Cave of the Winds was a natural cave behind Bridal Veil Falls. The cave-like structure was over 40 m high and 30 m wide. It first opened to tourists in the 1850s. In 1920, a second rock fall caused the closing of the cave, and today’s attraction in the same name, opened in 1924 to replace it, bringing tourists to the front of the falls instead of behind.

cave of the winds niagara

How Long Does It Take to Go Through Cave of the Winds?

On average, it takes 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to go through Cave of the Winds. You can choose to spend more or less time, but I recommend taking it slow to soak it all in. During my visit, I spent about 1 hour and 15 minutes exploring the Cave of the Winds.

Cave of the Winds Tickets 

You can buy Cave of the Wind Tickets at the Cave of the Winds Plaza on Goat Island, inside Niagara Falls State Park. Tickets are not available for online purchase. An adult ticket starts at 19 USD between May-Oct and 12 USD between Oct-May. Discounts are available for youth and groups. 

Note: Cave of the Winds is a timed entry attraction, so keep your entry time in mind when purchasing your ticket.

Cave of the Winds – Hours of Operation: 

Daily 9 am – 8 pm. Hours are limited in the winter months. 

Note: The attraction is closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day

cave of the winds start

Cave of the Winds Tours 

Tours of Cave of the Winds are available with multiple options for add-ons and can last from a couple of hours to a half-day. Tours will start with the history of the Falls and guide you through Niagara Falls State Park before reaching the Cave. Being part of a tour will grant you express entry, where you can skip the entry line. You will explore the Cave of the Winds unguided to enjoy it at your own pace.

I recommend getting a combination tour of the Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds. This tour starts with the Maid of the Mist before proceeding to the Cave. This combination tour is the one I did during my visit to Niagara Falls, NY, and I had the best experience. My guide was funny and knowledgeable. 

Getting Here

Located within Niagara Falls State Park, you can walk or take the trolley through the park to reach Cave of the Winds. The trolley stops in front of the Cave of the Winds. 

Cave of the Winds 

Address: Goat Island Rd, Niagara Falls, NY 14303, United States

visiting cave of the winds ny

Niagara Falls’s Cave of the Winds: What It’s Like

Start by learning about the history of the falls and how Nikola Tesla harnessed their power. From there, ride an elevator 175 ft (53 m) down into the Niagara Gorge. Once suited up, start your journey toward the falls. Walk up and down stairs and along walkways, getting closer and closer to the falls. Prepare to get misted. You might even see a rainbow.

cave of the winds rainbow

From the Hurricane Deck, feel winds up to 108 kph (68 mph) while drenched by buckets of water. The experience on the Hurricane Deck is similar to the experience of tropical storm-like conditions, hence its name. The railing is 20 ft (6 m) from the falls, so you can’t get closer than that. I took my poncho hood off for a few moments for photos and could feel the water dripping down onto my back. The water felt chilly.

hurricane deck cave of the winds

We had such a fun time at the Cave of the Winds that we missed meeting up with our tour group afterwards for the last part of the tour. 

It was amazing how close I got to the falls, reaching out to touch them. I loved seeing the mighty rush of Niagara from so close. I had experienced the falls from the Canadian side, but this was next-level thrilling. Our guide even joked that everyone thinks the Canadian side is better because they are actually looking at America. If you haven’t visited Niagara Falls from the US side, you should.

cave of the winds stairs

Tips for the Best Cave of the Winds Experience

  • Wear clothes and shoes that can get wet. While you will wear a yellow poncho, it will not keep you 100% dry, especially your shoes. I saw many people get soaked in their nice clothes. I also got soaked, but it’s part of the fun of the experience. Just be prepared for it.
  • Wear footwear with a good grip. Running shoes or adventure shoes work best. You don’t want to slip on the wet wooden stairs. While they used to provide rubber sandals to be environmentally friendly, they no longer supply footwear.
  • Bring a waterproof case for your phone, or only use waterproof cameras/phones to capture your memories at Cave of the Winds. 
  • The Cave of the Winds is busiest in the summer, especially on long weekends. Try to visit outside of the summer or on weekdays for fewer crowds.
  • The Hurricane Deck isn’t open during the winter. It is removed every fall and rebuilt in the spring. If you want to experience the Hurricane Deck, visit outside of the winter season.

I hope this information helps you plan your visit to Niagara Falls: Cave of the Winds.

Planning on also visiting Niagara Falls, Canada? Read this first:

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  1. This would be an ideal activity for a hot summer day! I love Niagara Falls, and I’ve been plenty of times to the Canadian side but not so much the American side. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Right?! As a Canadian, I too have been so many time to the Canadian side, but I highly recommend checking out the American side also!

  2. I was excited to see this post. I heard about this new attraction at Niagara Falls and wondered about it. The Cave of the Winds would make it well worth a trip over the border to enjoy. I love getting close to the water and feeling the power. But I can see why you need a raincoat.

    1. Such a fun attraction! This one isn’t new, but new to me 🙂 maybe you are thinking of the new Tunnel on the Canadian side? But, absolutely the Cave of the Winds makes for a great visit to the US side of Niagara Falls

    1. You can get soaked if you want! But it was so fun to feel the falls like that! You can also avoid most of the water if you want, so it’s slightly customizable. I’ve done the Canadian side many times, but am slowly doing all the attractions again since it’s been a while. This was my first time doing attractions on the US side. If you haven’t seen the falls from both sides, I’d recommend it

  3. Yeeees! I loved the Cave of the winds. This was easily my favourite part of visiting Niagara Falls – I just loved how close you can get to the amaaaazing waterfall! It’s all so loud and epic!

    1. I’m so happy to hear you too had such an amazing experience! I too was blown away by how close you get. I reached out and touched the falls! Loud and epic for sure!

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