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Kartchner Caverns State Park

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Hwy 90
Benson, AZ 85602
50 miles southeast of Tucson along Hwy 90
State Parks
4,600 feet feet


In November 1974 two young cavers, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts, were exploring the limestone hills at the base of the Whetstone Mountains. In the bottom of a sinkhole they found a narrow crack leading into the hillside. Warm, moist air flowed out, signaling the existence of a cave. After several hours of crawling, they entered a pristine cavern. It wasn't until February 1978 that Tenen and Tufts told the property owners, James and Lois Kartchner, about their amazing discovery.

During the four years of secret exploration, the discoverers realized that the cave's extraordinary variety of colors and formations must be preserved. The cave's existence became public knowledge in 1988 when its purchase was approved as an Arizona State Park. Extraordinary precautions have been taken during its development to conserve the cave's near-pristine condition.

The park is located nine miles south of I-10, off State Hwy 90, exit 302.

7:00 am to 6:00 pm
Cave Tours: 8:15 am to 4:40 pm
Open year round
Modern Restrooms
Picnic Area(s)
Visitor Center
Basic Directions
The park is located nine miles south of I-10, off State Hwy 90, exit 302.
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Bisbee Bisbee Bisbee
Southern ArizonaVictorian neighborhoods, locally-owned restaurants and coffee shops, bookstores, galleries and more make Bisbee a good choice for those seeking sophistication along with small town charm.
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Benson Benson Benson
SoutheastBenson has a rich history tied to the railroad and Old West. A great draw for many visitors is Kartchner Caverns State Park which offers camping, hiking, beauty and of course, the caverns themselves.
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