Camp At Kartchner
"This was a popular promotion last summer for residents so it's important that we can offer it again," said Assistant Director Jay Ream. "These are traditionally slower times of the year for the park, and with gas prices soaring, this is a great opportunity for families to plan summer vacations in that part of the state," he said.
"If you go online, you can book your tickets for dates starting Aug.1 through mid September. Weekends are usually busy, so if you need to travel then, you should go to the Internet and book right away.
“Walk-up tickets and the phone-in reservations will still be offered at a seasonal discount, so those tickets will be $8.95 for children and $16.95 for adults. There is no park-use fee if you have cave tickets for the day, so you can combine a hike into the Whetstones, but camping is not discounted for this promotion.
"You can make a weekend of your trip to Cochise County and camp and travel around the county to discover many fascinating spots such as Fort Bowie, Fort Huachuca, the Bisbee Mine, the Amerind Museum, Tombstone Allen Street activities, and the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park.
“If you are trying to get out of the heat of the large cities, you actually gain elevation to about 4,500 feet from the Phoenix and Tucson valley areas. The air is cooler there and the cave temperature is about 70 degrees," said Ream.
Park visitors can tour the 23,000-square-foot Discovery Center and all the geology exhibits, sign up for the interpretive programs, and see the filmed documentary of the explorers explaining the importance of stewardship of natural resources.
It is always best to guarantee your cave tours and book online for Kartchner Caverns so go to www.azstateparks.com for tickets. You can also call (520) 586-2283 to reserve your tickets.
Camping is offered on a first-come, first-served basis and the picnic and group areas are available throughout the year. Group tours are always welcome for schools, businesses and families. Special accommodations can be made for commercial tour operators including the use of the outdoor amphitheater, ramada area, band stand, and lunches can be served through the "Bat Cafe."
For information about Arizona State Parks call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free 800-285-3703) or visit www.azstateparks.com.