Kartchner Caverns

State Park - Arizona

In November 1974, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts were exploring the limestone hills at the eastern base of the Whetstone Mountains. They were looking “for a cave no one had ever found” and found it. The two kept the cave a secret until February 1978 when they told the property owners, James and Lois Kartchner, about their awesome discovery. Since unprotected caves can be seriously damaged by unregulated use, they knew the cave had to be protected. Tenen and Tufts spent several years looking into the possibility of developing the cave themselves. Some members of the Kartchner family lived in Tucson and were very impressed with the development and operation of Catalina State Park by Arizona State Parks. They decided to approach State Parks to see if the agency was interested in acquiring this outstanding resource.

maps

Cochise County Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).AZ Surface Management Responsibility - Cochise County

Cochise County Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Statewide Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).AZ Surface Management Responsibility - Arizona State

Statewide Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

brochures

Brochure and Map of Kartchner Caverns State Park (SP) in Arizona. Published by Arizona State Parks & Trails.Kartchner Caverns - Brochure and Map

Brochure and Map of Kartchner Caverns State Park (SP) in Arizona. Published by Arizona State Parks & Trails.

Kartchner Caverns SP https://azstateparks.com/kartchner/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kartchner_Caverns_State_Park In November 1974, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts were exploring the limestone hills at the eastern base of the Whetstone Mountains. They were looking “for a cave no one had ever found” and found it. The two kept the cave a secret until February 1978 when they told the property owners, James and Lois Kartchner, about their awesome discovery. Since unprotected caves can be seriously damaged by unregulated use, they knew the cave had to be protected. Tenen and Tufts spent several years looking into the possibility of developing the cave themselves. Some members of the Kartchner family lived in Tucson and were very impressed with the development and operation of Catalina State Park by Arizona State Parks. They decided to approach State Parks to see if the agency was interested in acquiring this outstanding resource.
Nearby Parks Cave Tours Park Rules If you’re having a great time here, don’t forget to visit one of the three nearby state parks! Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park (29 miles) Located in “the town too tough to die,” this preserved court building houses a collection of historic artifacts and memorabilia from the legendary American Old West. (520) 457-3311 Patagonia Lake State Park (53 miles) Tucked away in the rolling hills of southeastern Arizona is a hidden treasure. This is an ideal place to find whitetail deer roaming the hills and great blue herons walking the shoreline. The park offers a campground, beach, picnic area with ramadas, tables and grills, a creek trail, boat ramps, and a marina. (520) 287-6965 Tubac Presidio State Historic Park (77 miles) Arizona’s first state park, this historic site rests on the Anza Trail and commemorates the oldest Spanish presidio in Arizona with a museum, schoolhouse, colonial ruins, and picnic grounds. (520) 398-2252 The cave has an average temperature of 70° Fahrenheit and 99 percent humidity yearround. Most areas are dimly lit and some passages may be narrow or have enclosed areas. This may be difficult for people with mobility, respiratory, or claustrophobia issues. Rotunda/Throne Room Tour: 0.5-mile tour lasting 1.5 hours (50 minutes underground). See the original trail and the large, five-story formation named “Kubla Khan!” Big Room Tour: 0.5-mile tour lasting 1.75 hours (75 minutes underground). Available from mid-October to mid-April. Minimum age for this tour is 7 years old. Saturday Helmet and Headlamp Tour: 0.5-mile tour lasting 1.25 hours (60 minutes underground). Visitors tour the cave in the dark using only the light from their headlamps. Currently only on Saturdays. Minimum age for this tour is 10 years old. Tours take place in the Big Room from October to April, and the Rotunda/Throne Room from April to October. General Rules • Do not litter! “Leave no trace” and pack out what you bring in, or use the trash receptacles provided in the park. • Drive your vehicle only on designated paved surfaces. Park only in designated parking areas. Do not park on the side of the road. • Stay on designated trails. Cutting trails degrades habitat and harms the landscape. • Do not use glass containers in the park. • All of our parks adhere to firearm and hunting regulations. Please familiarize yourself with this information. Fires • Keep fires in grills or designated state parks fire rings. Never leave fires unattended! • Do not gather firewood in the parks. Firewood is for sale in most park stores. • Fireworks are not permitted in state parks. • Be “fire smart” and check fire restrictions at azstateparks.com/fire-safety. Camping • Campsites are limited to up to six adults and up to 10 people total. • There are designated dump facilities at the park for your convenience. Pets • Keep your pets on a maximum six-foot leash at all times. Pets must be attended at all times. • Pick up after your pet. • For additional information related to pets, visit our website or ask park staff. Additional Rules • Kartchner Caverns is an Arizona treasure and our highest priority is maintaining its pristine beauty. Our dedicated staff will inform you of proper conduct and best practices to help us preserve this natural wonder. The rules of this park are not limited to the rules listed above. Additional park rules may be found at azstateparks.com. Established 1957 Kartchner Caverns State Park KARTCHNER CAVERNS ® 09/20 Welcome to Kartchner Caverns State Park! We invite you to explore our world-famous cave as well as the above-ground park with its 62 campsites. On site, you will find ADA-accessible restrooms, camping cabins, and camping for RVs. Keep in mind that evenings in the desert can be cool! The Discovery Center has a gift shop, restrooms, and the Bat Cave Cafe with covered picnic tables. Additional shaded ramadas and picnic tables are available around the perimeter of the parking area. A covered group picnic area is located to the west of the Discovery Center. The group day-use area is available for reservation. Enjoy the Hummingbird Garden Walk located on the southwest side of the Discovery Center. Walk among the seasonal blooms and listen to the gentle music from our little feathered visitors. Thank you for visiting! 2980 Arizona 90, Benson, AZ 85602 (520) 586-4100 | 1-877-MYPARKS azstateparks.com/kartchner AZStateParks Like/Follow/Watch us on: 1-877-MYPARKS | azstateparks.com Cabins Four camping cabins are available for reservation. Each cabin has a covered porch, a full-sized bed, two sets of bunk beds, a table with chairs, electricity, lights, heating and air conditioning, and a locking door. Campers must supply their own linens or sleeping bags. Cabins sleep up to six people. Reserve a camping cabin and start your park adventure at azstateparks.com/cabins. Hiking Trails Guindani Trail (#398): 4.2 miles, located on the east flank of the Whetstone Mountains i

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