Claustrophobia & Anxiety

Claustrophobia and anxiety about small spaces is one worry we hear about from visitors before they come to Kartchner Caverns. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the caves, so we have detailed information about the space, the experience, and the process. Having a better understanding of what the cave will be like can help you enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

If at any point you need to leave the cave due to any medical issues a trained staff person will escort you out of the cave.

  • No matter where you are inside the cave, you are never more than 1-2 minutes from an exit.

What to expect:

  1. No more than 15 people are permitted on the Big Room tour and no more than 20 people for the Rotunda/Throne room tour. The tunnels and trails throughout are very wide, giving a visitor a lot of room to move freely within the tour.
  2. After a few instructions, the guide will lead visitors into an area with an airlock door.
  • To protect the fragile ecosphere inside the caves, you pass through two airlock doors that keep the dry desert air from damaging the caves. These closed doors can trigger claustrophobia for some people. You are only inside these closed spaces for a few seconds.
  • The airlock rooms are the smallest space you will experience on the tour.
  • Once you exit the first airlock room, a large tunnel opens up. The ceiling is about 15 feet high and you will start to see cave formations and beautiful-colored rock along the tunnel passage.
  1. The Rotunda/Throne Room tunnel is a shorter walk than the Big Room tunnel.
  2. Both tours will pass through a misting system and a second airlock door – again, you are only inside the closed doors a few seconds.
  • The misting system is very light – it is designed to help keep lint and hair attached to your clothes and off the formations.
  1. Regardless of the tour, visitors walk into a very large open room (cavern) and are greeted immediately with amazing stalagmites, stalactites and other beautiful formations.
  2. Enjoy the tour! For the next 40-50 minutes your guide will take you on a great journey.

See the FAQs section on this page for additional details about the cave.

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