Colossal Cave rocks – literally. This cozy gem of an enclave is a quick trek from Tucson, with a variety of tours all year and special candlelight jaunts in honor of Halloween. Candlelight tours go for one more weekend.
The drive to the cave down Old Spanish Trail isn’t even that bad. You get a long stretch of road with a normal speed limit (i.e. above 35 mph). As long as you’re not behind a pokey puppy or in front of an SUV that’s in love with blazing its brights, the drive is actually quite pleasant.
But the cave itself is where it’s really at – and even better if you heed a few simple suggestions.
Bring a camera. That way you can capture some orbs and have first dibs on shots if anyone falls.
Wear non-slippy shoes unless you want to be the person who falls.
Know the camera’s flash is going to momentarily blind you in the dark so wait a moment before you continue walking down the steep steps.
Dress light as the cave is hot and stuffy.
Believe the tour guide’s tale about the young girl who years ago ran into the cave to escape a mountain lion only to immediately plunge to her death as the cave opens to a big drop.
Take the stairs that now grace the cave’s entrance.
Tilt your candle during the candlelight tour unless you know how to get wax out of purple stretch pants.
Believe the tour guide when he says 50 to 100 people get killed in the cave every year.
Expect to find the gold rumored to be hidden inside. If it does, in fact, exist, it’s not going to be found by some random person on a guided tour shuttled on the path between railings.
Write your name in the walls of the cave. Yes, someone on the tour actually spotted such a scrawling. Do have some respect.
Take a tour if you happen to be claustrophobic.
Please note: Photos were enhanced to make them a bit more colorful. The cave walls are not really bright red or lime green.
Candlelight tour finale Oct. 29 to 31.
Candlelight Tours of Colossal Cave
Cost: $7 person 3 years and up
Time: Starts at 6 p.m., last tour at 8:45 p.m.
Call for more info or to reserve for a group: 647-3450
Colossal Cave Mountain Park
16721 E. Old Spanish Trail
Vail, AZ 85641 – 520.647.PARK (7275)
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