Arizona is known for several natural and geological wonders, caves being one of them. Though some caves might require a permit while others are open to the public, here are some that are worth exploring.
Discovered by Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts in 1974, this cave is more than 2.5 miles long featuring large rooms, 13,000 feet of cave passages and some of the longest tubular (soda straw) stalactites speleologists have ever seen.
It is considered to be one of the ten most spectacular caves on earth.
Lava Tube Cave
Believed to have formed 700,000 years ago, this mile-long lava tube is situated in the Coconino National Forest.
The temperatures inside the cave are rather low (around 42°) year round, as compared to the outside environment.
Said to be the largest natural travertine bridge on the planet, it’s 183-feet high and has three trails leading to the 400-foot long tunnel.
Located southeast of Tucson, it spreads nearly 600 feet into the mountain and is considered to be the largest dry cavern.
Legend has it that train robbers stashed their gold deep inside the cave and used it as a hideout.
It’s a part of the Coronado National Forest and requires a permit to be accessed. The environment inside the cave is warm and fragile with delicate crystal formations on the rocks.
The upper canyon is darker, more photogenic, shaped like an inverted ‘V’ and is likely to be crowded.
The lower Antelope Canyon is brighter as it’s wider at the top, ‘V’ shaped, more fun to explore and less likely to be crowded as compared to the upper canyon.
Pictures cannot truly capture the beauty of this cavern. Though it looks small, it’s a gargantuan alcove with limestone walls and looks like nature’s amphitheater that perfectly captures the river and the cliffs through its frame.
It’s a limestone cave that encompasses some of the most well-preserved stalactite and stalagmite formations, and is nearly 600 feet long. There are no guided tours available to explore this cave.