Grand Canyon Caverns
Ancient Cave tour near the Grand Canyon
Recommended by: Walter Peck
It is really dark in this cave! They showed us a hotel room that they fixed up so people could stay here at night, but even though the guide person said there's nothing living down here, I just don't think I'm willing to take the chance and stay here all alone! (Not even with my family!) It would be really creepy to spend the night here.
Though these caverns began forming nearly 300 million years ago, the first human record of exploration wasn't until fairly recently back in 1927, when Walter Peck, a woodcutter for the Santa Fe railroad, who was on his way to a poker game happened to notice the opening in the ground and asked some buddies of his to help him find out what was inside. When they made it back to explore the crevice, Walter's pals lowered him down nearly 150 feet before he reached the bottom! Walter's brief exploration led him to believe he might have found a gold ore, but after taking samples, he realized that there wasn't any gold to be found in this cave - just some funny rocks, an old saddle and some skeletons of "cave men" from long ago. Walter was disappointed that he wasn't going to strike it rich, but he became the original proprietor of what is now the Grand Canyon Caverns Tour when he began selling admission tickets so people could see this place where cave men used to live millions of years before.
Peck had a great idea when he decided to share this wonderful cavern with the public - an idea that is still going strong today! While it has now been proven that these skeletons were not those of prehistoric man, the cave has uncovered fossils of prehistoric animals which fell into the pit and were unable to escape. Due to the cavern being the largest dry cavern in the United States, the fossils found within are still in great shape even after millions of years!
Luckily for today's visitors, Grand Canyon Caverns now has a sturdy dependable elevator that takes you from the surface down the 150 feet to the floor of the cavern. There are two tours available for the public. The regular tour is approximately 45 minutes and is about ¾ mile long and handicap accessible. There is a longer explorer's tour available, but it is a bit more rigorous than the standard tour and is not advisable for those with disabilities. To take this tour, visitors must make reservations in advance and it is considerably more challenging than the standard public tour. Tours depart every half hour, and the park is open year round except for Christmas day.
In addition to the standard tours, the caverns have also made a name for itself as being a unique overnight destination. For $500.00 a night, those who want something totally different are able to stay overnight in the cavern suite - one of the quietest hotels in the world! Though this place is a bit remote, families who wish to explore the area fully may be interested in the "Family Package"for four, which includes 3 days/2 nights accommodation, admission to the cavern, a horseback trail ride, outdoor gaming and more for around $300.00.
Overall, this is an interesting little side trip located about an hour and a half from the Grand Canyon. It can be a bit difficult to find, since it is not marked well, but pay close attention and you should be fine.
Arizona 66, Peach Springs, AZ 86434
Admission (subject to change):
Hours(subject to change):
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|Jacob Tip: Make sure you wear regular shoes. It's still a little bumpy in some places down in the cavern and wearing flip flops is too dangerous. Also - laser pointers are a cool thing to have in the cave!|
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