BENSON (KGUN9-TV) - Right here, deep below our Arizona desert are the dark magnificent caves at Kartchner Caverns. Discovered in 1974, the caverns were kept a secret for 14 years. Now it's Arizona's 25th state park.
In 2016, Kartchner Caverns was named Best Cave in the US in USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. Additionally, this year, USA Today's readers named the caverns Best Arizona Attraction.
From their Junior Ranger program to scavenger hunts to a variety of hiking trails, there are endless activities for the family. Park Ranger at Kartchner Caverns, Jennifer Van Horn says this cave is still living, and that's what makes it unique. "Formations are still forming. There is still water dripping to this very second."
Kartchner Cavern's cave tours are the park's most popular attraction. The Rotunda/Throne tour runs one hour and 25 minutes in length. During this tour, learn how the cave was formed, while beating the desert heat. Van Horn says, "The caves are a consistent 71 degrees, 98 to 99 percent humidity. So, no matter what the weather is out there, if it's winter time it's lovely and warm in here; if it's summer time it's nice and cool. So when you need that escape from the 115 degree heat that's coming up, you come to Kartchner Caverns."
Or, experience the cave just like the discoverers did in 1974, using only the light provided by the headlamp on your helmet. This advanced tour is on Saturdays and is open to anyone over the age of nine.
Tours typically start at 10 a.m. and run every 20 minutes until 3 p.m. Tour tickets are $23 for adults ages 14 and up, $13 for ages 7-13, and just $5 for kids under the age of seven.
Reservations to Kartchner Caverns are highly recommended. Schedule your tour here.