Tours Information

Tours of the Minos Underground Areas are by arrangement only, and must be arranged in advance through a Fermilab employee or visitor who has received the NuMI Underground Safety Training. In general, these people are the scientists who are members of one of the experiments operating underground, or are from the Lab's Education Office, and function as your tour Escort. If you happen to know a member of one of the operating experiments, then you can approach them about arranging a tour. If not, you can request a tour through the Fermilab Education Office.

Rules for Tours

For safety reasons, tourists must be 18-years or older - a few exceptions can be made for a high school physics class with one or two students just under 18, but your Escort must be informed, and must then receive permission from Fermilab safety (PPD ES&H).

The underground tour is generally not strenuous, and the walking distance is less than 1000-ft. There are potential trip hazards; no open-toed or high-heeled shoes allowed. Tourists will be given a hardhat to wear while underground. The tour Guide will present safety information to the group, and tourists are asked to sign a guest-book acknowledging their understanding of the safety information.

Tour groups should understand that while an emergency situation is unlikely, if an emergency does occur they may be required to exit the underground by an alternate route, which entails a 2/3-mile (about 1-kilometer) walk uphill - a 3% grade for most of the distance and an 11% grade for 300-ft - as well as walking up a stairway for the equivalent of 6-stories. Portions of this emergency exit are without lighting in a 4-ft-wide corridor, where you will be walking single-file with only your Escorts' flashlights available. Persons who may have difficulty traveling this distance and elevation should carefully consider their pariticipation on the tour. For these reasons tourists are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes, long pants, and cary a flashlight.

In general, trained Fermilab employees can escort one or two people underground after the tourists have recieved a safety briefing from a qualified individual. Escorts, whether escorting a tour group, or escorting untrained collaborators, should be familiar with what is required of them. See Escort Information for the details.

For Large Tours

For tours of multiple people at least one escort should be an expert tour guide. Expert tour guides are those who have many hours of underground experience, are very familiar with the areas, and are approved by the Underground Coordinator, usually spokespersons or run coordinators of the experiments located below. They are also people qualified to administer the safety briefing to tourists.

There must be 1 Escort for every 5 tourists. The elevator to the underground holds a maximum of 12, so this leads to group sizes of at most 10 tourists and 2 escorts. There can be two such groups of up to 10 tourists underground at once, but no more, due to occupancy restrictions. Groups larger than 20 persons must take turns cycling through the underground.


See Accessing the Minos Underground Area for more information.