Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Summer Getaway Special at Kartchner Caverns State Park;

Free Campsite with Purchase of Two Adult Cave Tour Tickets

(Phoenix, AZ - June 19, 2013) - Kartchner Caverns State Park (near Benson, Arizona) is a unique cave with limestone minerals and formations that continue to grow with stalactites dripping down like icicles and giant stalagmites reaching up from the ground. Bring your family to see these formations in person and when you purchase two adult cave tour tickets from now until September 30, 2013, receive one night campsite free.

Enjoy a low-cost summer getaway in southeastern Arizona while staying in the campground. There are many things to do at Kartchner Caverns State Park including touring the cave, visiting the Discovery Center and exploring the hiking trails, including one that leads into the Coronado National Forest.

Other nearby attractions include Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, The Copper Queen Mine in Bisbee and Chiricahua National Monument in Willcox.

The free campsite must be used on the same visit as your cave tour and must be purchased through the reservation line at (520) 586-2283 between 8am and 5pm (Mountain Standard Time) seven days per week. The Rotunda/Throne Room tour is $22.95 for adults aged 14 and older, $12.95 for children aged 7 to 13 and free for children younger than 7.

During the summer, there is one guided tour offered inside the cave at Kartchner Caverns. The Rotunda/Throne Room Tour is half of a mile in length and takes approximately an hour and a half to complete. On this tour, visitors will discover the role that water plays in creating the caverns.

You will see the discoverers' original trail, 45,000-year-old bat guano, delicate formations and "Kubla Khan," the largest column formation in Arizona. The Big Room Tour is not open to visitors in the summer because it serves as a nursery for around 1,000 female cave myotis bats (scientific name Myotis velifer).

Kartchner Caverns State Park also offers a large, modern campground adjacent to the Whetstone Mountains with views of the entire San Pedro Valley. The camping sites are equipped with electricity and water. NO sites have been developed or designated for basic "dry camping" however, non-electrical and tent campers are welcome to use these sites. A camping permit entitles the holder to use of the shower/restroom, water, electrical and dump station facilities.

The Discovery Center facility contains exhibits on cave formations, cave life, hydrology and history. In the Tenen-Tufts Theater, a video presentation (15 minutes long) plays twice an hour. The program highlights the discovery aspect of the cave. The Gift Shop offers a wide array of cave related and southwestern themed souvenirs, gifts and practical items to meet the needs of travelers. The Bat Cave Cafe is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for dining while at the Park.

Reservations for camping and/or cave tours can be made 24-hours a day at AZStateParks.com (please note: the summer getaway is not available for purchase online) or by calling (520) 586-2283 between 8am and 5pm (Mountain Standard Time) seven days per week. Reservations are highly recommended for all cave tours. You will need to pick up your tickets at the park on the day of your tour; tour tickets are not mailed out.

Bring your reservation receipt with you to the park. Cave Tour tickets must be picked up AT LEAST 1 hour prior to your scheduled tour time. Late arrival may result in the forfeiture of your reserved tour time. Kartchner Caverns State Park is located on Highway 90, nine miles south of I-10 near Benson, Arizona.

For information about all 27 Arizona State Parks, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Programs and State Historic Preservation Office call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703), visit the website and online camping reservations at http://www.AZStateParks.com, Twitter/Facebook AZStateParks.


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