|Ready to go through CaveSim|
Escabrosa Grotto brought a "Squeeze box" so that visitors could see how tight of an opening they could fit through, much like cavers do in some wild caves. The Cochise County Cavers had exhibits on caving gear as well as cave survey tools. Another local cave, Colossal Cave, also had an exhibit with a cave map and a bat skeleton. Talking to the rangers, the event has gotten bigger each year it's been held, and will continue to grow. I'd have to say that one of the best groups participating was CaveSim. Dave and Tracy Jackson, located in Manitou Springs, Colorado, built a cave replica in a trailer, complete with sensors and scoring to help people realize how important it is to "cave softly", and that by touching or bumping cave formations it hurts the cave. It's a super fun activity, and all sorts of people crawled through and had a blast.
We didn't go through Kartchner Caverns on Cavefest Weekend, but visited in March to see the Throne/Rotunda Tour. It's a fun tour. Unfortunately, cameras are not allowed in Kartchner Caverns, so no pictures. But, we saw lots of formations, learned more about the cave, and had a good time. One of the fun things we learned was that researchers can tell if a formation has been continuously growing by shining a laser light at it. If the formation lights up, it's been continuously growing and all of the calcite crystals are aligned in it. If it has gone dormant (stopped growing) at any time, the calcite does not line up and it won't light up.
Nearest City: Benson, AZ
Location: N° W°
Time Needed: 1/2 day
Kid Friendly: YES!
Additional Info: Watch the Kartchner Caverns Calendar for this annual event!