Caverns and Caves in the Tucson Area
Arkenstone Cave(Located near Vail, Arizona)
This cave is accessible only to scientists and researchers. This cave is located in the Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Arkenstone cave was discovered in the 1960s. It is a wet or living cave.
Colossal Cave (Located near Vail, Arizona)
This cave is "dry" or "dormant.” Colossal Cave had been used for centuries by prehistoric peoples when it was "discovered" in 1879.
Colossal Cave Mountain Park
P.O. Box 70
16721 E. Old Spanish Trail
Vail, AZ 85641
Telephone: (520) 647.PARK (7275)
Kartchner Caverns State Park
(Located near Benson, Arizona)
"Kept secret since its discovery in 1974, Kartchner Caverns' existence was announced to the world in 1988. The massive limestone cave has 13,000 feet of passages, and two rooms as long as football fields." Kartchner Caverns is a wet or living cave. The 550-acre park officially opened to the public Nov. 12, 1999.
One of the co-discoverers of Kartchner Caverns, Randy Tufts, died April 1, 2002. His obituary in Tucson Citizen "Caverns' Finder Tufts Dies” April 2, 2002 Page B1.
For general information: Telephone: (520) 586-4100
For Reservations: Telephone: (520) 586-CAVE (2283)
La Tetera Cave (Located near Vail, Arizona)
This cave is accessible only to scientists and researchers. This cave will not be opened to the public. The cave is located inside the Colossal Cave Mountain Park. La Tetera was discovered on January 24, 1996, when a Colossal Cave employee spotted a “6-foot plume of steam” in the park. Because the cave was discovered by steam coming out of a small hole, it was name “La Tetera” which is Spanish for teakettle. La Tetera is a wet, or living, cave like Kartchner. The cave is estimated to be about 10 million years old. The cave has dinosaur bones as well as many unique formations.
“Beyond Colossal” Tucson Citizen. March, 11, 2004. Page 1.
"County shut researchers out of two 'live' caves." Arizona Daily Star. January 31, 2007. Page 1.