Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts kept a secret for 14 years. It was a long and deep secret–two and a half miles long, and deep under the ground near Benson, Arizona. Tufts and Tenen were spelunkers, cave explorers, and their secret was a wondrous limestone cavern, now open to the public called Kartchner Caverns.
Kartchner is a “living” cave, meaning its formations are still growing, albeit so slowly that you’d probably never see the effect in your lifetime. To keep it that way, the State of Arizona put $28 million in investments in air lock doors and environmental protection to help the cave maintain an atmosphere suitable for formation growth.
A part of the state’s park system, Kartchner Caverns entertains visitors from across the planet as they tour underground spectacles with names like the Cul-de-sac Passage, the Big Room, and Echo Passage. It’s a wonderful tour that we highly recommend.
Making it a bit easier on the pocketbook, the State offers a free night of camping in the park with the purchase of two adult cave tour tickets. You’ll need to make a reservation at (520) 586-2283 and specifically mention the promotion when you call. The offer is good through September 30.
photo: Mike Lewis on wikimedia commons.