Colossal Cave Mountain Park

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, twenty miles east of Tucson, offers panoramic beauty coupled with legendary tales of romance and intrigue. Since July 10, 1992, Colossal Cave Mountain Park has received even more attention and interest from its discovery in 1879 with its inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

Limestone formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, and helectites, no longer grow in this dry cavern, the largest of its kind in the world today. However, the mesmerizing crystal formations of the past display more than enough beauty for visitors to enjoy in the comfortable seventy-degree temperature offered by the cave.

Tours of the cave, occurring every thirty minutes, take the visitor along an exciting journey full of photographic opportunities and covering one half mile of fascinating geological sights. In addition to daily tours, special tours, available by advance reservation, offer unique and exciting opportunities to view parts of the cave in the original splendor as the original inhabitants of the area first saw them.

Donned in a hard hat and carrying lights, visitors will experience unimproved areas of the cave while on the Ladder Tour. A truly romantic encounter with the beauty of the cave will enthrall visitors on the Candlelight Tour. For the adventurous, follow the footsteps of original inhabitants as you traverse unmarked and unlit areas of the cave, climbing over obstacles while you marvel at the sheer beauty of it all.

Cowboy cookouts, western music, exciting stagecoach rides, adventurous hayrides, scintillating trail rides, and educational finds in the museum complement your tour of the cave. Secluded, wooded picnic spots at the bottom of the canyon offer a chance for a relaxing respite with the kids or a brief romantic interlude.

Enjoy a leisurely trail ride along the National Mail Stagecoach route starting out from La Posta Quemada Ranch within the park. Along the way through the scenic Sonoran desert, intricate geological formations and the Hohokam mortar site will intrigue you with their unique display. The Hohokam Indians used the cave as a safe and secure shelter many moons ago.

Afterwards, enjoy some of the native wildlife in the area. Take pleasure in the colorful and educational experience of the Butterfly Garden where the entire life cycle of the butterfly is portrayed. Visit three Desert Tortoises happily situated nearby in their new digs. While you’re at the ranch, be sure to stop and catch a look at the Analemmatic Sundial, which is large enough to use a person for its gnomon.

Although you won’t be panning for gold, The Sluice offers the opportunity to experience the excitement and thrill that went along with it. This replicated mining sluice recalls a Western tradition that promoted the expansion of our country, and gives visitors the opportunity to pan for gemstones, arrowheads, or fossils. Unlike other smaller caverns in the country, The Sluice provides documentation identifying the collection that you take away in your own attractive bag.

If you simply cannot get enough of the Colossal Cave Mountain Park in one day, overnight camping is available, but you’ll have to rough it like the first campers to the area. Inexpensive parking facilities, a snack bar to quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger, gift shops offering mementoes, and plenty of excitement for the taking are all waiting for you at the Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Visit the Colossal Cave website for directions and more information.


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