Discovered and explored for the first time in 1974, Kartchner Caverns is a massive limestone cave in Arizona just a few miles outside Tucson. Here visitors can experience one of the rarer natural wonders on earth: caves. The world’s longest stalactite formation and the world’s largest collection of brushite moonmilk make this underground phenomenon a must-see.
Kartchner Caverns History
The Kartchner Caverns cave was discovered by Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts in November 1974. The two wanted to discover a cave that “no one had ever found” and were successful in their endeavor. The property was owned by James and Lois Kartchner and Tenen and Tufts kept the cave a secret from them for almost four years. The Kartchner’s later decided to approach State Parks to see if they would be interested in acquiring the caverns. It wasn’t until April 28, 1988, that State Park leased the property and later acquired the Option to Purchase in July 1988.
Points of Interest
Kartchner Caverns offers various cave tours from a helmet and headlamp tour to a photo tour where guests are able to take photos. These tours range from a half-mile, up to a two-hour long tour.
Located in the northeast corner of the park’s main parking lot is the Discovery Center, where guests can visit the theater, museum, food concessions, gift shop, and amphitheater.