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“Gift Shop Makes Nice Stop Along I-10”

Kartchner Caverns State Park
Ranked #1 of 15 things to do in Benson
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 30 July 2014

If you're not particularly interested in entering a cave and if you've already toured the museum and exhibits the way we have, you can still stop at the Bat Cave Restarurant and the museum gift shop every time you're passing by on I-10. I think of it as a good opportunity to stock up on postcards, T-shirts, books, videos, and gifts for others such as jewelry. It's about a 7 mile drive off the interstate and a 7 mile drive back, but that's what we did on our recent trip to Santa Fe in search fo information about World War 2 spies. There's certainly nothing else like it in the area. If you're there in any season except summer, outside is a garden that makes a nice photo op and provides a place to take a short walk while looking at butterflies and hummingbirds.

Thank Linda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"big room"
in 177 reviews
"throne room"
in 124 reviews
"cave tour"
in 68 reviews
"living cave"
in 102 reviews
"light show"
in 36 reviews
"cave entrance"
in 27 reviews
"future generations"
in 25 reviews
"separate tours"
in 15 reviews
"discovery center"
in 45 reviews
"mid april"
in 22 reviews
"make reservations"
in 42 reviews
"great cave"
in 18 reviews
"great room"
in 16 reviews
"natural wonder"
in 39 reviews
"handicapped accessible"
in 15 reviews
"gift shop"
in 68 reviews
"earlier tour"
in 14 reviews
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868 - 872 of 1,385 reviews

Reviewed 21 July 2014

Fascinating experience. Walking through a living cave and seeing all the beauty that nature offers. If you in that area of Arizona it it a must. Make reservations early.

2  Thank Sue T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2014

This is by far one of the best physical caverns I've seen, and absolutely one of the best tours ever. Parking is easy, previsit is casual, and they Will let you go on an earlier tour is space is available. The 2 guides we had (Cindy and Bob) were amazingly informed, and answered every question easily. If you're in the Tucson area, point your car east towards Benson.

1  Thank HumerousUserName
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2014

My three boys (ages 5, 7, 8) enjoyed this cave tour very much, as did my husband and I. My kids are mellow, so walking in the cave for 45+ minutes was an easy undertaking. If your kids are rambunctious, you may want to wait until they are older because you wouldn't want to spoil the tour for other patrons. Guests need to keep their hands to themselves and stay on the pathways. Thus, energetic kids may find this challenging.

Toward the end of the tour, the lights will be turned off so you can get the full blackout effect. Keep this in mind if you have kids afraid of the dark.

The docent was terrific. Definitely watch the 16 minute movie either before or after your cave tour. The kids were able to enjoy the movie too. It was user friendly for all ages.

There is a McDonald's immediately off the I-10 freeway before you head to the park. There is a great dinosaur statue for a photo op in front of the restaurant. Something to keep in mind if you need lunch before or after your tour.

Thank SDFive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 July 2014

Just a short drive from Sierra Vista. Parking was plentiful and the gift shop and museum area was very informative. The "Big" Cavern was not open during our visit. We toured the "Throne Room" Cavern. Thought that the price was a bit steep ($23 per person). The tour was nice and informative and the sights inside the cavern were spectacular. The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the history of the caverns.

1  Thank larrynmarsha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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