#4 In My List of Least Known Best Southern Arizona Attractionsby Jim Gressinger on Feb. 16, 2012, under Camping, Day/Weekend Adventures, Exceptional Museums, Hiking, Local Adventures, Local Attractions, Local History, Native American Culture, Scenic Back Roads, Southern Arizona Caves, Things To Do With The Kidz
We began last week with a new series about the Least Known Best Southern Arizona Attractions and I shared my video about each one. All three are now on my website: Southern Arizona Guide. Here’s the recap.
- Titan II Missile Museum
- The Mini-Time Machine: Tucson’s Museum of Miniatures
- Franklin Automobile Musuem
Today we look at #4, which is a bit different than the others because it is really 3-In-1. Most of us have heard of Colossal Cave and many have taken the tour and explored the cave. But far fewer people know about the other attractions at Colossal Cave Mountain Park.
Did you know, for example, that the Arizona Trail goes through the Park?
In the valley below the cave is La Posta Quemada Ranch with camping and picnic areas, hiking trails, horseback riding, two museums, a restaurant, and much more. It’s a lovely place to spend a day only 25 miles east of downtown Tucson.
THE HISTORY ROOMS
Colossal Cave Mountain Park is listed on National Register of Historic Places. The Ranch Headquarters House on La Posta Quemada Ranch houses a History Room about both the human and natural history in and around the 3 caves. Around 900 C.E., the Hohokam people had a thriving community here. And there are artifacts to be seen.
THE CAVING ROOMS
Colossal Cave Mountain Park is fortunate to have three notable caves within its boundaries. The first, of course, is Colossal Cave itself, a fine dry cave that was developed for touring in the 1930s.
The others are wild caves; one is called Arkenstone, the other La Tetera. They are live caves and, in order to protect their delicate environments, they have been designated research sites, and access is strictly limited to a handful of researchers. The initial results of their work in Arkenstone are highlighted in the Museum Caving Rooms.
Here now is the first of my three videos about Colossal Cave Mountain Park. I’ll share the second and third videos tomorrow.