Kartchner Caverns State Park in Benson, Arizona is a unique and special place.
Camp in the park, explore the cave and head out to pawsome nearby, dog friendly places!
In 1974, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts were exploring the limestone hills at the eastern base of the Whetstone Mountains. They were looking “for a cave no one had ever found” and found it!
The two kept the cave a secret until February 1978 when they told the property owners, James and Lois Kartchner, about their discovery. Since unprotected caves can be seriously damaged and vandalized by unregulated use, they knew the cave had to be protected. They decided to approach State Parks to see if the agency was interested in acquiring this outstanding resource. Now you can visit the park and caverns, and your dog can camp with you at Kartchner Caverns State Park in Benson, Arizona!
Kartchner Caverns is home to one of the world’s longest soda straw stalactites: 21 feet 3 inches (Throne Room.) The tallest and most massive column in Arizona, Kubla Khan: 58 feet tall (Throne Room.) The world’s most extensive formation of brushite moonmilk (Big Room).
There is so much to learn and so much diversity in scenery at this Arizona State Park!
Brickle and Digby’s List Of Why You Have To Camp With Your Dog At Kartchner Caverns State Park
- Spacious campsites
- Dog friendly trails designed for an easy stroll or a more strenuous hike. You can pick a trail depending on how you feel that day!
- Walking outside on the Hummingbird garden around the Discovery Center, and having a picnic up on a hill!
- Gazing up at the stars at night and thinking about all of the places we still have to go to!
- Plenty of dog friendly places to explore within easy driving distance like Tombstone and Bisbee!
Boy Person and Girl Person’s List Of Why You Have To Camp With Your Dog At Kartchner Caverns State Park
- Because the campground is in the state park, taking a “person break” to tour the caves is easy and quick. No, dogs cannot go in the caves, but staying in the state park makes your time away from the dogs less stressful and enables you to get right back! Go more than once if you wish! It’s a never ending adventure to learn about this cave and its explorers
- Places to explore nearby like Tombstone and Bisbee
- Challenging trails
- Clean restrooms warm showers
- Informative visitor center and knowledgeable staff
One of the great aspects of Kartchner Caverns State Park is it’s close proximity to drive-able dog friendly areas like Bisbee, Arizona. Bisbee is known as the “Queen of the Copper Mines” because during its mining heyday, it produced nearly 25 percent of the world’s copper. Due to the demand of copper, Bisbee was once the largest city in the Southwest between Saint Louis and San Francisco. This quirky town is an amazing place for artists with its charm and picturesque mountainside location.
One of the highlights of full time travel for us was taking our dogs to nearby Tombstone. This is a great day trip and a total experience! Touristy, yes. Fun, YES!
What can dogs do in Tombstone with you? So much! It is one of the most dog-friendly attractions we have visited.
Dogs can enjoy a show at the Bird Cage Theatre. You and your dog can take a stage coach tour and ride the trolley. Dogs are welcome to join you in exploring the old mines under Tombstone. And our favorite? At the ice cream shop at T. Miller’s Tombstone Mercantile, they serve doggy ice cream cones!
All campsites at Kartchner feature electric hookups and water. Your fee includes use of the shower/restroom, water, electrical and dump station facilities. All campsites have a picnic table. Our boys say this is very important!
Sites vary in length from 35’ for the shortest back in sites to 60’ in the pull through sites; all sites are single width. Sites have ample room on the side areas for pull out units.
Campsite reservations are available online or by calling Arizona State Parks Reservations Desk at 1-877-MY PARKS (697-2757).
Katchner Caverns State Park
2980 AZ-90, Benson, AZ 85602