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Exploring the ParkColossal Cave Mountain park

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Explore The Park!
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The Tour of Colossal Cave
Group on tour inside Colossal CaveThe tour route is a half mile long and takes about 45-50 minutes to complete. As your guide relates the Cave's history, legends, and geology, you walk down and back up about six and a half stories and see beautiful cave formations like stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, boxwork, and helictites.

Tours are given daily, year-round. They are not pre-scheduled, but you'll never wait longer than 30 minutes after you purchase your ticket. You need no special clothing in the Cave, which is always 70 degrees and dry. You are welcome to take pictures inside - you'll want to use high-speed film and a flash unit for cameras, or a candlelight setting for videocams. Please click here for rates and Park hours.

Buy Tickets Now

To check availability and purchase tickets online for a Regular Tour go to Zerve Online Ticketing.

The Discovery Tour
There's so much to see and do here in the Park that we've come up with a Discovery Tour game for you to play. When you're done, you'll have seen just about all of the Park. And when you've completed the game, you will win a TREASURE!

Here's how to play. Take your Discovery Tour game map and find the Discovery Tour stations around the Park. Then find the paper punch in each station and punch the map at the icon that represents where you are. Punch each of the eighteen (18) icons around the map with the correct punch for that location and you've finished. Take your completed map to either of the Gift Shops to claim your TREASURE!

Discovery Tour game maps are given out at the Toll Booth. They are also available at the Bat Pot Gift Shop (at the Cave), the Doubletree Gift Shop (at the Ranch), and the Trail Rides office.




Trail Rides
Trail riding on horsebackSaddle up! Leisurely guided Western trail rides go out daily from La Posta Quemada Ranch facility in Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Starting from the site of the historic Mountain Springs Hotel and Stage Station, you'll follow the National Mail Stagecoach route. See spectacular and complex geological formations and a Hohokam bedrock mortar site as you ramble through unspoiled Sonoran desert.

Hayrides and stagecoach rides are also available by reservation. Open every day, the stable hours vary seasonally. Please email the stables or call (520) 490-5706 to make reservations.

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The following are special Cave Tours requiring reservations

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Cristate Saguaro

The saguaro is a large, tree-sized cactus that is native to the Sonoran Desert. They can take up to 75 years to develop side arms. Some saguaros are "crested" due to fasciation, instead of having arms.




Group Tours & School Tours
We offer group and school tours at reduced rates for those who can make reservations at least two weeks in advance. If your party has twenty or more persons, the tour will be given for your group only. A smaller group may have to be combined with another tour. Please call (520) 647-7275 to make reservations or to get current rates.

The Ladder Tour
See areas of Colossal Cave not open to the public since the 1950s. Your small guided tour (2-6 people) will visit an exquisitely beautiful, only partially improved area of Colossal Cave. If you have a party larger than 6, we can typically accommodate you by taking out a second tour, with advance notice. Participants will be provided hard hats and lights and must be ready to climb and clamber. Note that full-fingered gloves are required but not provided; we have gloves for purchase or you may bring your own.

Your evening will consist of an hour and a half tour of the Side Routes of Colossal Cave, a buffet dinner, and, when weather permits, a bonfire on the ramada. These tours are available after hours every Saturday night and by special arrangement at other times, always by reservation. Click here for current tour rates.

Buy Tickets Now

To check availability and purchase tickets online for a Ladder Tour go to Zerve Online Ticketing.

The Wild Cave Tour
**Check out the Wild Cave Tour Video!

If you’re feeling really strong, you can make reservations for a Wild Cave Tour. You and your guides will follow the footsteps of early explorers through unlit, unmarked, and rarely seen passageways that extend a quarter mile into the depths of the earth.

We provide hard hats and lights; full-fingered gloves are required but not provided; we have gloves for purchase or you may bring your own. Participants must be physically fit, agile, and able to scale obstacles. The tour size is limited to six people and lasts two to three hours. For an additional fee you can enjoy a buffet dinner, and, when weather permits, a bonfire on the ramada after your Wild Cave Tour. The dinner and bonfire must be requested when you make your reservations. Please click here for current tour rates.
Take a walk on the Wild Side!

Candlelight Tours
See the wonders of Colossal Cave in a new light - CANDLELIGHT. A treat for groups of up to twenty (age 10 and older), a candlelight tour is the only way to see the Cave in its "original" beauty.

After hours, we glow the Cave with candles, and give each participant a candle to carry, as well. Plan to spend an hour to an hour and a half in the Cave. Please click here for tour rates.

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More exciting Park Adventures!

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The Cactus Wren

The Cactus Wren is Arizona's Official State Bird. They are just one of hundreds of bird species that call the Park home.




Birding in the Park
Are you a birdwatcher? The Park, because of its many microhabitats, offers great birding. Check out our list of birds that have been identified in the Park over the last 40-plus years. (You can download it and bring it with you when you visit, and add your own sightings to our list!)

Picnic in the park Picnic in the Park
Spend a day in the Park with the family. Colossal Cave Mountain Park has plenty of spots for picnics and other fun family recreation. Our wooded picnic areas are tucked along a secluded canyon bottom. Pack a lunch and get out here!

Camp in the Park
If you’d like to spend more than just a day with us, we permit overnight camping in the picnic areas. Be prepared to rough it (no hook-ups), and get close to the desert for one whole night.

The Sluice
Sluice Gemstones Great fun for the kids (and adults, too): our gemstone sluice! Recalling a Western tradition—panning for gold—our replica mining sluice gives you the opportunity to pan for gemstones, fossils, or arrowheads! Take away your hoard in its own bag; with the gemstones and fossils, you will receive a descriptive card identifying your treasures.

The Butterfly Garden
Black Swallowtail Butterfly A colorful retreat where dreams take wing...
The Butterfly Garden at Colossal Cave Mountain Park is carefully designed to provide for the full life cycle of butterflies. There are larval food plants for the caterpillars, nectar to sustain the adults, shade and camouflage for protection from predators—and there's even a special spot for their puddle parties! A haven for butterflies, it is also a place of rest, entertainment, and education for the human guests that visit! The plants are all native varieties. Check out our list of butterflies that have been identified in the Park over the last 40-plus years. (You can download it and bring it with you when you visit, and add your own sightings to our list!)

The Analemmatic Sundial
The Human Sundial An Analemmatic Sundial—like the one here in Colossal Cave Mountain Park—is not round like most sundials you may think of. Ours is horizontal! It consists of a central calendar grid and an ellipse showing the hours. The gnomon, a vertical rod or pin, is used to tell the time. Our sundial is large enough to use a person as the gnomon! Come be an interactive part of our Analemmatic Sundial located at La Posta Quemada Ranch.

The Working Circle Teambuilding Adventures
The Working Circle™



The Working Circle Teambuilding
Interested in teambuilding? Colossal Cave Mountain Park has teamed up with The Working Circle Teambuilding to offer teambuilding adventures. The goal is to provide professionals with the skills to transform the way organizations communicate, collaborate and resolve conflicts. The Working Circle is a systematic decision-making approach for meeting challenges.

Desert Tortoise Exhibit
The Park has adopted two Desert Tortoises and their home is located at La Posta Quemada Ranch. They are happily munching on broccoli in their new environment. If you would like to join our Desert Tortoise Club please email us or call (520) 647-7121.

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If you would like to join our Desert Tortoise Club please email us or call (520) 647-7121.

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Birthday Parties
Bring your little wrangler out for a real old-fashioned birthday in the country! Pan for gemstones in our sluice or tour Colossal Cave, then play great games. From the infamous seed-spitting contest to searching for the bandits' bag, you'll round up lots of birthday fun! Call (520) 647-7121 for reservations and more info.

Whitetail Deer
J. Marlow
Whitetail Deer

This small, shy deer is one of two species of deer found in Colossal Cave Mountain Park; the other is the larger and more abundant Mule Deer.

Cowboy Cookouts
Beef, beans, and bonfires! Our La Posta Quemada Ranch facility offers lunch or dinner cookouts by reservation for groups of twenty or more.

  • “Hang” your boss or your spouse on our gallows.
  • Limber up your lariat (or borrow one of ours) and practice your roping skills on our unique Rolleroper.
  • Try a game of horseshoes—with real, used horseshoes.

Let us make your visit complete with western music, a trail ride, a hayride, a stagecoach ride, or a special Cave tour. Call 520-647-7121 for information and reservations.

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Colossal Cave Mountain Park
16721 E. Old Spanish Trail
Vail, AZ 85641 - 520.647.PARK (7275)


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