About 45 minutes southeast of Tucson and just off I-10 you will find a living, growing anomaly of geologic history. Among stalagmites, stalactites and growing crystals you can hear and experience the interesting history of how the caverns came to be discovered and preserved.
Kartchner Caverns State Park features 2.4 miles of passages. Long hidden from view, the caverns were discovered in 1974 by local cavers, assisted by a state biologist who helped in its preservation.
The caverns are carved out of limestone and are full of geologic structures that have been growing for more than 50,000 years. The two major features of the caverns currently available to the public are the Throne Room and the Big Room. Big Room tours are closed during the summer for several months because it is a nursery room for cave bats. As many as 2.,000 bats nest in the cave during late spring.
Many different cave formations can be found within the caves and the surrounding park. These include cave bacon, helictites, soda straws, stalactites, stalagmites and others. Cave formations grow about a 16th of an inch every 100 years.
A visit to Kartchner Caves State Park is well worth the trip. The Visitors Center is especially comfortable and has a wealth of information about the caves. Cave tours are guided so there is no chance if going to a place in the cave that is dangerous.