Tag Archives: Kartchner Caverns State Park

Kitt Peak National Observatory. Southern AZ Must-Do's - EAZ Fall-Winter 2012

Top 5: Southern AZ Must-Do's (Fall-Winter 2012)

The Top 5 Southern AZ Must-Do’s — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Titan Missile Museum

1580 W. Duval Mine Rd.,
Sahuarita, AZ 85629
(520) 625-7736
titanmissilemuseum.org
Once one of America’s most top-secret places, this National Historic Landmark site and one-of-a-kind museum gives visitors a rare look at the technology used by the United States to deter nuclear war. Tour the underground missile site. See the 3-ton blast doors, the 8-foot thick silo walls, and an actual Titan II missile in the launch duct. Visit the launch control center, experience a simulated launch and more.


Kartchner Caverns State Park

2980 S. Hwy. 90,
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-CAVE (2283)
azstateparks.com/parks/KACA
Discovered in 1974, these caverns recently opened to the public and feature stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations. Guided cave tours, a discovery center, interactive displays, gift shops, 62 camping sites, hiking and walking trails.


Tombstone

P.O. Box 813,
Tombstone, AZ 85638
(520) 457-3884
cityoftombstone.com
The name Tombstone creates images of gunfights and dusty streets, whiskey and Faro games, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and a plethora of old Western movie scenes. Tombstone has been called “The Town Too Tough to Die.”


Kitt Peak National Observatory

950 N. Cherry Ave.,
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 318-8000
noao.edu/kpno/
Kitt Peak National Observatory supports the most diverse collection of astronomical observatories on Earth for nighttime optical and infrared astronomy and daytime study of the Sun.


Chiricahua National Monument

12856 E. Rhyolite Creek Rd.,
Willcox, AZ 85643
(520) 824-3560
nps.gov
Called the “Wonderland of Rocks,” this 11,985-acre site is comprised of an eight-mile paved scenic drive as well as 17 miles of day-use hiking trails to discover the beauty of this 11,985 acre site.

Experience AZ Fall-Winter 2012

 

Top 5 Southern AZ Must-See Spots (Spring-Summer 2012)

Top 5: Southern AZ Must-See Spots (Spring-Summer 2012)

The Top 5 Southern AZ Must-See Spots — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

2021 N. Kinney Rd., Tucson, AZ 85743
520-883-2702
desertmuseum.org
A world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden — all in one place. Within the museum grounds, you will see more than 300 animal species and 1,200 kinds of plants.


Kartchner Caverns State Park

2980 S. Hwy. 90, Benson, AZ 85602
520-586-CAVE (2283)
azstateparks.com/Parks/KACA
Discovered in 1974, these caverns recently opened to the public and feature stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations. Guided cave tours, a discovery center, interactive displays, gift shops, 62 camping sites, hiking and walking trails.


Mission San Xavier Del Bac

1950 W. San Xavier Rd., Tucson, AZ 85746
520-294-2624
sanxaviermission.org
Mission San Xavier del Bac is referred to as the “White Dove of the Desert.” This active Franciscan mission is located on the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation.


Queen Mine Tour

Hwy 80, Historic Old Bisbee exit, Bisbee, AZ 85603
866-432-2071
queenminetour.com
Don a mining lantern, hat and slicker and ride the mine train deep into the mine and experience the life of the miners as they tell you how they toiled in the subterranean tunnels. Fun and educational for the whole family. Tours last about one hour and are offered five times a day, seven days a week.


Titan Missile Museum

1580 W. Duval Mine Rd., Sahuarita, AZ 85629
520-625-7736
titanmissilemuseum.org
Once one of America’s most top secret places, this National Historic Landmark site and one-of-a-kind museum gives visitors a rare look at the technology used by the United States to deter nuclear war. Tour the underground missile site. See the 3-ton blast doors, the 8-foot thick silo walls, and an actual Titan II missile in the launch duct. Visit the launch control center, experience a simulated launch and more.

Experience AZ Spring-Summer 2012

Kartchner Caverns

Have An Underground Adventure At Kartchner Caverns

Arizona is home to many unique natural landmarks, including the Kartchner Caverns. Discovered in 1974, the Kartchner Caverns are carved out of limestone and contain 50,000-year-old cave formations.

The park offers two different cave tours that will take you underground, giving you a first-hand view of the caverns’ fascinating minerals and formations, making Kartchner Caverns a must-see for anyone interested in exploration.

The Rotunda/Throne tour:

Kartchner Caverns Map

  • Open since 1999
  • Half a mile long
  • Takes an hour and a half to complete
  • Available year-round, except September 17-22

The tour explains the role water has had in the creation of the caverns. Also featured in this tour is the original trail of the first discoverers of the cave.

The Big Room tour:

  • Opened in 2003
  • Half a mile long
  • Takes nearly two hours to complete
  • Available from mid-October to mid-April

The Big Room tour will teach you about the cave fauna, the strange formations and new scientific research findings on the caverns.

The Discovery Center

Other features of Kartchner Caverns State Park include the Discovery Center, which includes the park’s museum exhibits, gift shop, regional displays and information about the caverns and the surrounding landscape. Kartchner Caverns State Park also has campgrounds, hiking trails, lockers, shaded picnic areas, a deli, an amphitheater and a hummingbird garden.

Interesting facts about the Kartchner Caverns:

  • Kartchner Caverns is home to one of the world’s longest soda straw stalactites at 21 feet 3 inches (Throne Room).
  • The tallest and most massive column in Arizona is Kubla Khan at 58 feet tall (Throne Room).
  • The world’s most extensive formation of brushite moonmilk resides at Kartchner Caverns (Big Room).
  • The first occurrence of “turnip” shields (Big Room) was reported here.
  • The first cave occurrence of “birds nest” needle quartz formations.
  • Many other unusual formations such as shields, totems, helictites and rimstone dams appear in the caverns.

For more information about Kartchner Caverns and other state parks visit, azstateparks.com.