Kartchner Caverns State Park Prepares 10th Anniversary Celebration

Tuesday, October 27 2009 15:04   Arizona
Arizona's stunning Kartchner Caverns State Park marks its 10th anniversary in November and park officials have lined up a variety of activities and workshops to help celebrate the birthday.

On Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 7 and 8, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the park will have hour-by-hour activities and cave tours if visitors have booked tours in advance.

The weekend will be busy with presentations, booths and interpretive programs for all ages. Visitors will learn microbiology from Dr. Raina Maier, cave paleontology, the history of the cave discovery from explorer Gary Tenen, and the secret excitement of the discovery from Kartchner family members.

Visitors also can enjoy the bat, bobcat, mountain lion and rattlesnake workshops as well as special desert interpretive walks. Additionally, the $5 park entrance fee will be waived for the anniversary event.

It has been estimated that more than two million people have been drawn to southeastern Arizona to visit the park and it has generated more than $12 million in economic impact dollars to Cochise County. The cave has been listed as one of the top 10 caves in the world because of the stunning array of delicate calcite formations found in the depths of the cave.

Visitors can make cave tour reservations by calling (520) 586-2283 seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (MST). Rotunda/Throne Room Tours are available for $18.95 for ages 14 and up and $9.95 for those aged 7 to 13 (children 6 and younger are free). The Big Room Tours are available for $22.95 for ages 14 and up and $12.95 for those aged 7 to 13 (children younger than 7 are not permitted into the Big Room). Walk-up tickets may not be available this weekend. The park also offers a large, modern campground adjacent to the Whetstone Mountains with views of the entire San Pedro Valley.

Kartchner Caverns State Park is located on Highway 90, nine miles South of I-10 near Benson, Arizona. For more information about the 30 State Parks, statewide hiking opportunities, off-highway vehicle trails, and other outdoor recreational and cultural opportunities in Arizona, call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703) or visit
www.AZStateParks.com .