Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Karchner Caverns

We find out about the neatest places by talking with fellow RVers. We were at the dog park with Auggie one day last week, and a fellow dog owner mentioned in passing that he had been to Karchner Caverns. We looked it up when we got back to our motorhome, and discovered that these caves are considered among the top ten cave formations in the world. Not only that, but of the top ten, Karchner Caverns is the only site in the US that is open to the public. And it was only a couple of hours away from us.  Well, we had to go and check it out!

The Caverns are part of the Arizona State Park system and are located in Bensen, AZ. At this time two different tours are offered, both about an hour and a half long.  While the tours are not cheap at $23 per person, taking one is the only way you can actually see the caves. We had to arrive a minimum of one hour before our tour started. There were a lot of rules to follow: no cell phones, water bottles, purses, food, gum, or cameras are allowed. Touching any surface is punishable by law. One enters the cave through a series of three sealed chambers that maintain the humidity of the caves, including one chamber that mists you down to prevent lint from becoming airborne and damaging the formations. Two guides accompanied our small group which was led by an experienced cave explorer who explained all about how the structures were formed and how they were discovered by a couple of college freshmen in 1974. It was a fascinating story!

Since cameras were not allowed, I took these images off the internet. They give some idea of the beauty of the formations.  If you ever get to southern Arizona, do yourself a favor and visit the Karchner Caverns!

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