ARIZONA STATE PARKS
For Immediate Release
Managing and conserving Arizona's natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in our Parks and through our Partnerships.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ellen Bilbrey at (602) 542-1996 or (602) 228-8518, or Monica Enriquez at (602) 542-6997 or email pio at azstateparks.gov
(Phoenix, AZ - March 30, 2009) - Kartchner Caverns State Park will lower the price of the Rotunda/Throne Room tour for the summer. When you book your tour for any day between June 1 and September 4, 2009, adult cave tour tickets will be reduced in price to $12 while tickets for youths aged 7-13 will be sold for $5 (children aged 6 and younger are always free). Ticket buyers will save $6.95 and $4.95 respectively per ticket.
Photo Credit Arizona State Parks
Travelers through Southern Arizona can spend the whole day at the park. In addition to the 75-minute cave tour, there are opportunities for hiking, picnicking, camping, and in the Discovery Center, there is a movie about the cave explorers, the ecosystem and the geology within the cave.
The Big Room will be closed for the summer as of April 15 because the cave bats will return and roost there until mid-October. During the summer months, the cave's Big Room serves as a nursery for around 1,000 female cave bats (scientific name Myotis velifer). Pregnant females return to Kartchner Caverns around the end of April, where they give birth to a single pup in late June. Female bats and their offspring will leave in mid-September, to begin their migration to their winter hibernation roost.
"The bats that roost in Kartchner Caverns are important for the cave ecosystem and the cave is important for the bats. For these reasons, Arizona State Parks protects the bats' home, while still allowing people to visit. We conducted several studies before development to see how we could best protect the bats and we decided to close the Big Room for tours when the bats need it for their roosting area. We also monitor the bat populations each summer to see that they remain stable," says cave resource manager Ginger Nolan.
Make your tour reservation by calling (520) 586-2283. The $5 entrance fee is waived with that tour reservation for a vehicle with up to four adults, however there is a $2 per adult charge for each additional adult passenger. The ticket office is open 8 am to 5 pm every day of the week.
Remember to book tours in advance for Kartchner Caverns State Park. There are no online reservations so you must call for reservations. Walk-up tickets are by availability only, so may not be as accessible as there are less tours per day. Weekends are expected to fill first so call to book tickets as soon as possible.
Kartchner Caverns State Park is located on Highway 90, nine miles South of I-10 near Benson, Arizona. The State Park is open daily at 7 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. and the Cave Discovery Center hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For information about Arizona State Parks call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703 or visit the website at azstateparks.com.
You may reach Arizona Boating and Watersports at:
480/947-6219 or 619/523-3091
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