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Kartchner Caverns State Park




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General Information

Kartchner Caverns State Park
Copyright: - Arizona State Parks
Kartchner Caverns State Park
Description - Kartchner Caverns boasts many world-class features that have been protected since the cave was discovered in 1974. Kartchner Caverns State Park offers visitors to this very popular attraction both a cave tour and an opportunity to experience the site's excellent Discovery Center. All caves tours are guided by a park interpreter. Guests will be taken to the Throne and Rotunda rooms. The tour is one-third of a mile in length and the complete tour will last approximately 60 minutes, 45 minutes of which are in the cave.

The 23,000 square foot Discovery Center explains many aspects about the cave, including geology, the bat population and paleontology. Interactive exhibits help to explain the discovery of the cave and how formations developed. A multi-screen video introduces the visitor to the two cave discoverer's underground journey into Kartchner Caverns.

Additionally the State Park offers opportunities for visitors the chance to hike in the surrounding area. There is trail access to the Whetstone Mountains in the Coronado National Forest, plus the 2 mile moderate-rated Guindani Loop Trail and the Hummingbird Trail.

Picnic Ramadas and an outdoor dining area are also available. A campground is planned for the park.

Recreation - Recreational opportunities offered by this unique park include a cave tour, a visit to the interactive Discovery Center, hiking the trails, and picnicking in the shaded Ramadas.

Cave tours run approximately every 20 minutes, with the first tour beginning at 8:40 a.m. and the last tour beginning at 4:40 p.m. The park is open 7 days a week 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (except Christmas Day).

Climate - The climate of Arizona varies greatly with elevation. Most of southern Arizona and the low elevations experience a desert climate. Kartchner Caverns sits at a relatively high elevation of approximately 4,000 ft. and thus experiences milder summer temperatures than much of the surrounding area. During the summer months, expect hot temperatures with afternoon thunderstorms possible especially in July and August. Daytime high temperatures can easily exceed 90 degrees. Winter brings cool temperatures compared to the low elevations. Fall and spring are transitional periods and can also be nice times to visit these desert regions. Be prepared for cool temperatures at higher elevations and dress in layers for your travels in this state of varying climates.

Inside the cave climate conditions are a constant 68 degrees with 99% humidity.

Location - Kartchner Caverns State Park is located in southeast Arizona, about 55 miles southeast of Tucson. To reach the park, take exit 302 off I-10 in Benson. Travel 9 miles south of I-10 on State Hwy. 90, to the park.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: DMC (TEMPE, AZ)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Breath-taking 'wet' cave tour. This is a living cave - still forming. We even got a 'cave kiss'. The discovery center was an extra bonus....


More Information

Contact Information:
Kartchner Caverns State Park, P.O. Box 1849 , Benson, AZ, 85602, Phone: 520-586-2283

Additional Information:
Arizona State Parks - Arizona's State Parks feature lakes, reservoirs, caves, mountains, unique geologic formations and significant historic sites. From pine forests to spectacular deserts, the State Parks offer something for just about everyone.
Southern Arizona - Southern Arizona is a region of desert lowlands, high desert and rugged, forest-topped mountains. The city of Tucson lies at the heart of this region

Links:
Arizona State Parks - Official Agency Website
Kartchner Caverns State Park - Official Arizona State Parks website

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