Saturday, February 8, 2014

Campground Review: Kartchner Caverns State Park Benson, AZ (Part 1)

As the second eastern leg of my drift towards Ft. Worth (the first was to a overnight in Tuscon at a Walmart) I traveled along I-10 to Benson, AZ then 9 more miles south to Kartchner Caverns State Park.  The park is rather small with only 62 campsites but is renowned for it's giant limestone caves which are tour-able.  Here's the campground data:

Hookups:                                Water, 110, 30amp, 50amp
Fire ring:                                  no
Water Access:                         no
Dump station:                         yes
WiFi:                                       no
Level sites:                              no
Laundry:                                 no
Store:                                     only knickknack items, no food
Pool:                                       no
Shade:                                    no
Verizon reception:                  2 bars, 4g
Millenicom reception:             3 of 4 bars
Cost:                                     $25 / night

The campground is on the beginning of foothills and slopes down to the East.
 I know as you read this you're anticipating all the super cool photos I took on the cave tour but the rules preclude taking any photographic equipment including smart phones (they check you) into the caves, I guess because the flash might hurt the stalactites.  So you can go to Google images and see them here:

Kartchner Cavern Photos

The guided tour takes a couple hours and it's really humid in the caves for those with hair that frizzes up!

The park contains two hiking trails, the 2.5 mile Foothills Loop and the 4.2 mile Guindani Trail which follows the huge Guindani Wash.  On day two of my stay I did Guindani Trail hike through some fairly challenging terrain.

The trail head for the Guindani Trail hike.
Long time readers of Tech-nically Homeless might recall I've had issues with not carrying enough water on hikes before (especially that 8.5 mile one in Colorado!).  To remedy that I bought this nifty hike belt at Walmart that carries two 1.8 liter bottles and has a small pack area for snacks, first aid kit, and maps.

S15 at Wally World.
The Guindani Trail starts out fairly level and passes through grass and small oak trees.

It looks like it takes you right up in the mountains at first.

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