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“Like formations? See the Big Room !”

Kartchner Caverns State Park
Ranked #2 of 18 things to do in Benson
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
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 13 November 2017

While my family says the tour that is open year round is stunning, if possible, take the Big Room tour which is only open when the bats have gone--October to March usually. If you've visited their website, you have a preview of whats in store--flowstone, soda straws, "cave bacon"--the room isn't "big" as in "open" but big in formations. As this is first and formost home for their bats, you will have to leave cameras, purses, etc in your car or their lockers. As it is a living, warm cave, jackets aren't needed. While you won't even notice, a section of the entranceway will mist you to keep lint from entering the cave. Do go!

3  Thank gypsykitten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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in 192 reviews
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in 132 reviews
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in 17 reviews
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"gift shop"
in 69 reviews
"live cave"
in 21 reviews
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162 - 166 of 1,486 reviews

Reviewed 13 November 2017

This tour was amazing. The cavern is a must do. I can't believe we had not done sooner. Staff was amazing and very knowledgable from check in to tour guides tram driverfront gate so friendly.

Thank Robert M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2017 via mobile

We have stayed in some state parks having RV camping facilities. This one was the best we have ever seen.
The park is well laid out, easy access paved roads and large sites. Free Wi-fi. The park itself and rest rooms were super clean. Wonderful mountain views and hiking trails.
The modern and beautiful welcome center has informational brochures and even an interesting museum.
The main attraction is of course the two caverns to explore.
RV rates are very reasonable and camp hosts were very friendly.
Must see Tombstone and Fairbank ghost town are a short distance away.

Thank christopherM8134MB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2017 via mobile

Great tour. Very informative, and unbelievably beautiful. Brought along a picnic lunch which was enjoyable before going on the tour. Highly recommend!

Thank JoAnn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 November 2017

Very nice cave and certainly an easy one to visit. Paved walkways - easy to navigate. Tour guides are very good.

Thank rhs74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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