First Time: Spelunking at Colossal Cave Mountain Park (Vail, AZ)
Right next door to Tucson, Arizona adventure awaits in Vail! It took some convincing as Bill had some anxiety about caving since I was looking into a “Wild Cave Tour – Advanced (3-5 hours).” You’re warned that “Participants must be physically fit, agile, and able to scale obstacles.”
Featured Photo by: Virtual Tourist
Colossal Cave Mtn Park
16721 E Old Spanish Trail
Vail, AZ 85641
• Colossal Cave Website
• County Park Admission: $5.00 per car
• Weather: Rain – High 55°F Low 50°F
• Cave Temp: 70°F (but feels like 75°F)
Doesn’t specify on their website but we learned the Wild Cave Tour ($75/pp) requires 2 weeks advanced notice!
17 miles from Voyager RV Park
“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.” –Colossal Cave
Sounds good to me! I wasn’t too worried about it as long as I didn’t watch any scary / horror movies prior. The mind can play tricks on you and fear can make you back out of many things in life.
Again, their website didn’t indicate that it required 2 weeks notice to arrange a Wild Cave Tour so Bill lucked out. We were still able to participate in a 1 – 1.5 hour Ladder Tour ($25/pp) though. Experiencing something is better than nothing.
Rain’s pouring as we head out to Vail.
Fog roles in at Colossal Cave. This is the first time on the RV trip, it has been cold enough too see my breath!
Not all areas of this County Park is good for a little ol’ Mini Cooper:
Up high you’ll see the Colossal Cave gift shop and meeting area.
We bring our own gloves but they supplied the hard hats and head lamps. Along with my car keys, I removed my sweater and left them with the gift shop to store. The average Cave Temp: 70° (but feels like 75°)
Remember to lift your feet when you walk or you’ll trip like Bill did. Like he always says, “I’m better in water than I am on land.”
Touring caves isn’t recommended for anyone afraid of heights or get claustrophobic.
2. Tight Squeezes
4. Unknown and “Cave Dark” Paths Ahead
Remember, just focus on following your guide or the person in front of you. In hindsight, if I started thinking about the creepy-crawly things in the cave, I don’t think I’d volunteer to be last… ever!
Photo-Op time: our guide Amber shows us how to get to this higher area of the cave that has an opening. I volunteer to scout it out first. I follow the faint light from Bill’s headlamp. There he is down there!
Bill’s view from below.
They don’t call it the Ladder Tour for nothing! Bill climbs up first…
Sometimes requiring to climb and swing and duck into smaller openings:
This was an interesting portion of the tour. A ledge just wide enough for your feet as you hugged the cave. Don’t lean back!
This formation looks like an elephant.
As you look at the cave, you use your imagination and create objects to identify areas of the cave. In this instance, the wall looks like a witch and her big nose actually points in the direction of a trail that eventually leads you back to the exit. Can you see her Garfield cat?
We’re having tons of fun!
We made it!!! And now for some sillyness — pretending we’re zombies.
Complete Photo Gallery
QUESTION: Are you going to add Spelunking in Colossal Cave to your bucket list?