Kartchner Caverns State Park is a state park located in Arizona, United States. It features a show cave with 2.9 miles of passages. The park is located 14 km, i.e., 9 miles south of the town of Benson and west of the north-flowing San Pedro River. Local Caverns discovered the caverns in 1974, and the state biologist Erick Campbell helped in its preservation. The park surrounds most of a down-dropped block of Palaeozoic rocks. It is on the east side of the Whetstone Mountains.
The caverns there are carved out of limestone. They are filled with extraordinary speleothems, and these have been growing for 50,000 years or more. The caverns were discovered when Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts found a small crack in the bottom of the sinkhole. They then followed the source of warm, damp air towards what ended up being more than 2.5 miles of new cave passages. The discovery of this cave in public was made in 1988. It was the time when the landowners of the cave sold it to the state for development. The state had spent $28 million for its high-tech system with airlock doors and other equipment. This all was done to design and preserve the cave. The two significant features of it which are accessible to the public are Throne Room and Big Room. The throne room has one of the world’s longest soda straw stalactites. And it has a 58-foot high column called Kubla Khan. There is a brushless moon milk. It is in the big room and is the world’s most extensive formation. Tours of the big rooms are closed in summers for a few months because of cave bats, and it is a nursery place. The throne room is open throughout the year. 60% of the cave system is not open to the public. Above the tunnel, on the ground, the park has hiking trails. Around 200 bats’ nests are in the cave during late spring. Stalactites and Stalagmites are cave formations and grow at approximately 16 of an inch every 100 years. Desert plants from the Foothills Loop Trail hike may be seen: hackberry, scrub oak, barrel cactus, etc.
Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts were looking “for a cave that no one had ever found.” Randy Tufts was a geologist and planetary scientist at NASA. He knew about caving through his uncle, who was also a geologist. His uncle showed him caves in Arizona. When he was 13, he read a book named “Five boys in a cave,” He was inspired, so he decided to find a cave that no one had ever found. He used to take his friends out to Whetstone limestone mountain range and look for caves; they used to ask the people around for a local cave. After that, they found a sinkhole and a small cave chamber, but they didn’t think the cave went anywhere. After many years he found a sinkhole again, and he asked Gary to explore it with him after exploring it much..they kept that location secret for 14 years.
In 1985 they purchased the land, and the discovery of the cave was made public in 1988. This was the story, and then they designed it well. This was the Kartchner Caverns.