November 18, 2015

Experience AZ

Colossal Cave Mountain Park reopens for visitors

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, located approximately 15 minutes southeast of Tucson in Vail, Ariz., has officially reopened to the public after completing its first phase of renovations. “We are very excited to re-introduce Colossal Cave Mountain Park to the Vail community and travelers to the area,” said Brian Held, general manager of Colossal Cave Mountain Park. “Colossal Cave Mountain Park has a rich history and showcases the beauty of southern Arizona. Our goal with the renovations is to keep the original and natural splendor of the park, while creating an overall enjoyable experience for our guests.”

The renovation process began in August when Ortega National Parks took ownership of Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Since the shift in ownership, several renovations to the cave’s entrance have been completed. The park opened a new gift shop, which is nearly triple the size of the previous shop, and features Colossal Cave T-shirts, memorabilia, stuffed animals, and souvenir items. Additionally, the cave’s entrance received new patio furniture, an outdoor kitchen and restaurant, remodeling touch-ups, and more.

“The cave’s entrance is the focal point of Colossal Cave Mountain Park. It offers breathtaking views of the park and is a calm and tranquil area for our visitors to enjoy the natural scenery and landscape. With the new renovations, we’re hoping that this area will not only be a place to access the cave, but also place where local residents and travelers can come for lunch or coffee, a relaxing picnic, family gatherings, and much more,” said Held.

As part of the renovation, Colossal Cave Mountain Park also introduced new food offerings available for guests. The park updated its kitchen and now provides a full menu of freshly made signature dishes including hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, and pizzas.

Colossal Cave Mountain Park also eliminated the $5 entrance fee allowing free access to the grounds. It restructured its cave tours and created new tour options for guests. The cave now offers five separate tours: the Regular Tour, which is about a half-mile tour which explores the popular and easily-accessible parts of the cave; the Daytime Ladder Tour where guests can climb up ladders to visit off-route areas of the cave that have rarely been seen by the public; the Nighttime Ladder Tour with Dinner in which guests take part in the ladder tour and then enjoy a dinner by campfire under the stars; the Wild Cave Tour, where guests can follow the footsteps of early explorers through unlit and unmarked areas of the cave; and the Candlelight Tour, where guests explore the cave by candlelight to experience how explorers saw the cave when it was first discovered.

Colossal Cave Mountain Park plans to further update the park with continued renovations during the coming years. Future plans include making the park’s campgrounds more family-oriented with playground activities. The park also plans to create a beer and wine garden serving spirits to accompany the new dining options now available, a zip line attraction, a historical tour of the Colossal Cave Mountain Park, and more.