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“Bats yes..no batman”

Kartchner Caverns State Park
Ranked #1 of 15 things to do in Benson
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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: Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Cleveland, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Bats yes..no batman”
Reviewed July 21, 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.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank Sue T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,280 reviews from our community

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Frisco, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Amzing Caverns--must see!”
Reviewed July 20, 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.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank HumerousUserName
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent - kids enjoyed it”
Reviewed July 14, 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.

Visited July 2014
Thank SDFive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yuma, Arizona
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Not just a hole in the ground”
Reviewed July 6, 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.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank larrynmarsha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience with my family, a must see”
Reviewed July 4, 2014

Thoroughly enjoyed the visit to see the "Throne Room." We arrived very early since we hadn't planned on the time change between Texas and Benson, AZ. The staff were great. They rescheduled us for an earlier tour. Take the time to watch the 15 minute video since it will set the mood. The caverns were lovely. Breathtaking. The tour lasted about an hour. It is a bit humid inside so wear comfortable clothes. The cafe onsite had the best hot dogs and pie I've had in a while and be sure to order the prickly pear lemonade. Then, after the tour and lunch, take the 3 mile hike, "Foothills loop," but take extra water because it is moderately difficult. Even so, my 15 year old daughter and 7 year old son had no problems. If someone is an asthmatic, take their inhaler on the hike. Overall, it was a lovely trip and now we want to come back to see the "Big Room," which was closed. I wouldn't recommend this for families with small children.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank malleman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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