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Kartchner Caverns State Park

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Arizona's Centennial Celebration

#5 of 100 Things To See & Do In Arizona

 

Kartchner Caverns State Park

 

 

Deep within the bowels of the earth in the Whetstone Mountains is a magical place 200,000 years in the making--a pristine limestone cave.  Here you will be able tour underground rooms filled with brawny stalactites, delicate soda straw formations and jewel like rocks in multi-colors.

Discovered in November 1974 by two young cavers, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts, when they found a narrow crack at the bottom of a sinkhole leading into the hillside. The warm moist air that flowed from the crack signaled the existence of a cave.

Curious, they crawled deeper and after several hours found the "live" limestone cave.  This underground wonder is home to a wide variety of unique minerals and formations, including:

  • One of the world's longest soda straw stalactites: 21 feet 3 inches (Throne Room)
  • The tallest and most massive column in Arizona, Kubla Khan: 58 feet tall (Throne Room)
  • The world's most extensive formation of brushite moonmilk (Big Room)
  • The first reported occurrence of “turnip” shields (Big Room)
  • The first cave occurrence of “birdsnest” needle quartz formations
  • Many other unusual formations such as shields, totems, helictites, and rimstone dams.

For an unforgettable adventure be sure to put the Kartchner Caverns State Park on your "must see" list.  During a memorable 1 1/2 hour tour, your guide will unveil the mysteries of this fascinating underground landscape.  The park's Discovery Center features museum exhibits, a large gift shop, regional displays, theater, and educational information about the caverns and the surrounding landscape. There are also campgrounds, hiking trails, lockers, shaded picnic areas, a deli, an amphitheater, and a hummingbird garden.

 

JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Humphrey's Peak In Arizona

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Arizona's Centennial Celebration

#3 of 100 Things To See & Do In Arizona

 

Humphrey's Peak is the highest natural point in Arizona, with an elevation of 12,637 feet.  For the outdoor enthusiast it offers a lung-searing, heart-pounding hike with panoramic vistas that shouldn't be missed. 

However, if you consider the 4.5 mile course to the top to be merely a means to the end, you'll definitely miss the many reasons to take on this steep and challenging mountain trail.  Along the way to the top you'll be treated to a thriving alpine forest streaked with rock slides and avalanche tracks as well as the scenic Hart Prairie stretched out at the base of the incline and a whole new perspective on the Grand Canyon that is easily visible on the horizon. 

As you near the upper reaches the trail becomes quite rocky.  Above the treeline you'll find yourself completely exposed to the whims of nature.  Here it may snow during any month of the year and a late summer monsoon storm can bring with it life threatening lightning strikes so be prepared to head for lower ground if a thunderstorm is brewing. 

But if you've ever wanted to experience standing on top of the world, here's a mountain peak in your own backyard that will give you an idea of how it might feel.  You can hike the Humphrey's Trail any time of the year, but you will need a back country permit if you are the die-hard type that wants to tackle it during the winter months. 

               JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Judi Monday
RE/MAX Valley Properties In Green Valley, AZ
210 West Continental Road
Green Valley AZ 85622
Direct: (520) 241-7780
Fax: (520) 648-2221