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The Wonders of Colossal Cave Mountain Park

July 7th, 2009

colossal-cave-mountain-park.jpgDiscovered in 1879, Colossal Cave Mountain Park is a place overflowing with wonderful tales of the past, gorgeous scenery, romantic sunsets, and more. Since July 10, 1992 it has been a member of the National Register of Historic Places. Located approximately twenty miles to the east of Tucson, Arizona, Colossal Cave Mountain Park features an amazing array of activities and exhibitions for visitors to enjoy.

Colossal Cave

Colossal Cave features an amazing array of limestone formations that draws tourists to it in droves. From stalactites to helictites to stalagmites, Colossal Cave has it all. The limestone formations no longer form in this cave since it has been dry for many years. Nonetheless, it is the largest cave of its kind in the entire world. The cave mesmerizes its visitors as they gaze at these incredible crystal formations from the past.

Visitors to Colossal Cave can even take an opportunity to experience the old time Western tradition thrill of using a mining sluice. Although it won’t produce gold of any kind, this replicated sluice can be used to pan for fossils, arrowheads, and gemstones. Each of these items is available for purchase and comes with identifying documentation and a small pouch.

Touring the cave is comfortable since the internal temperature remains at approximately 70 degrees throughout the year. Guided tours are offered daily, providing numerous photographic opportunities of the geological treasures to be discovered here. However, for those visitors who want a look at something special, there are additional tours of specific areas of the cave that have been preserved throughout the years to portray the cave as it was when the first inhabitants of the area came along. These tours are only available by pre-arranged reservations.

Colossal Cave seems to be designed for the romantic at heart, as it portrays the beauty of candlelight very well. Meanwhile, the Ladder Tour offers a trip along areas of the cave that have not undergone any type of improvements whatsoever. Visitors who elect to take this tour will be required to wear hard hats for protection and carry flashlights for safety purposes.

Natural wildlife is plentiful and is perhaps best seen while walking through the area. A fine display of Desert Tortoises is set up nearby for visitors.

A tour of the Butterfly Garden is both educational and entertaining. The entire life cycle of the butterfly is on display in a colorful exhibit. The Butterfly Garden offers an educational display in which the life cycle of a butterfly is intricately explained.

No matter what tour you take, you’ll get the delight of walking in the footsteps of the original residents of the area surrounding Colossal Cave. Plus, there are a few other exciting activities rooted in the history of the area. Enjoy a stagecoach ride past panoramic scenery. Participate in a country cookout complete with authentic Western music. There’s always a hayride or two being offered at the park.

Adventurous guests can indulge in either a trail ride or a leisure walk around the area. In fact, the National Mail Stagecoach route begins within Colossal Cave Mountain Park and traverses through the Sonora desert. An interesting spot to visit is the Hohokam Mortar Site. A long time ago, the Hohokam Indians used this particular cave as a safe haven during their hunting and gathering expeditions. Mortars found in the cave were used as tools to grind colored clays into powder for pigments. They were also used to grind various herbs and seeds for culinary or medicinal purposes.

Colossal Cave Amenities

Overnight camping is available. However, the accommodations only provide the minimal amenities. A guest shop is on site as well as rest room facilities. Picnicking is popular in the area. Secluded spots in wooded areas provide a relaxing getaway from the public.

Meanwhile, if you’re thinking about planning a trip to this area or just want to find out more about the cave itself, more detailed information can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page at the official Colossal Cave Mountain Park site.


Amy Weber is a freelance writer and article supplier for DailyArticle.com, a source of some surprisingly inexpensive but original articles for those who are patient enough to browse through the full selection.


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