If you’re looking for an adventure outside of Texas that’s sure to stick with you, grab your gear and get over to Colossal Cave. With plenty to explore, including trails ranging from easy to adventurous, western trail rides on horseback, museum exhibits, a butterfly garden, a newly refurbished gift shop and a well-appointed cafe in the middle of it all, it’s worth the trip.
Located about 20 minutes out of Tucson in Vail, Arizona, Colossal Cave not only taps into the adventure seeking self, but it also expands your trivia base by going through various historic landmarks and ruins. For millions of years, the cave was almost entirely underwater, leaving many spectacular rock formations and crystal in the now fully dry cave. Through time, many shapes have formed that resemble characters such as the “kingdom of the elves,” a Garfield-like rock formation, Old Baldy and many more – all make the cave that much more magical, especially for kids.
In addition to the history of the physical cave itself, there are many other historic mysteries to be discovered on the cave tours such as Native American rooms, trinkets left behind by running outlaws and ruins of workers within the cave. After venturing through all the history of the caves in the Regular Colossal Cave Tour for about 45 minutes, there are many other paths to take that offer much more heightened adventure. For the real adrenaline junky, there is The Wild Cave Tour. This is for the physically fit and agile cave explorer looking to get down and dirty in the unlit, unmarked, and rarely seen passageways that extend a quarter mile into the depths of the earth.
Other than the various cave tours, one can find more adventure doing horseback riding, hiking trails, stopping in for a picnic or camping under the stars. Even if cave exploring isn’t your cup of tea, the side features and scenery are worth a visit, and perfect for a large family with varying interests. Regardless of what kind of adventure you’re looking to experience, be sure to stop for a bite at The Terrace Café, conveniently located between the cave entrance and the newly renovated gift shop.
From gourmet pizzas, to uniquely crafted hot dogs and burgers to give you a true taste of Arizona, and scrumptious snacks; you’re sure to find something tasty and replenishing after a long day of fun adventure.
I found the staff to be incredibly kind and everyone worked hard to ensure every guest was happy with their experience at the Colossal Cave. For more information on what Colossal Cave has to offer and the rates for the above adventures, go to colossalcave.com or call (520) 647-PARK (7275).