Cave tours will be closed for maintenance from September 18-22, 2023.
Please see our Cave Tours page for information on how to prepare for your visit.
Become a Junior Ranger
If you're between ages 6–12, you can become a Junior Ranger at Kartchner Caverns State Park! Pledge to do your part to help preserve the beauty of the park for everyone to enjoy!
On this page, you can download a Junior Ranger activity for this park that you can complete on your own. It's just one of the fun activities you can do to become a Junior Ranger. After you complete it, bring it with you to the park and you're on your way to becoming a Junior Ranger.
When you visit the park ask for a full Junior Ranger booklet at the Visitor Center, Ranger Station or office. Complete the activities during your visit and then bring it to a Park Ranger for review. When a Park Ranger approves your work you'll be asked to take the Junior Ranger Pledge and get sworn in as our newest Junior Ranger. You'll also be given a Junior Ranger Button. We hope to see you at the park!
Activity Sheet Summary
Cave Formation Find-a-Word: “Speleothem” is a word scientists use when they mean all cave formations, not just one type. Read the descriptions of the types of formations found in Kartchner Caverns. Fill in the name of the formation in the blanks.
Pledge & Button
Junior Ranger Pledge: “As an Arizona State Parks Junior Ranger, I pledge to help the park rangers protect and preserve habitat, wildlife, and help keep the park clean and safe for visitors and wildlife.”
Remember, you can become a Junior Ranger at nearly all Arizona State Parks. So explore our website and visit the FOR KIDS page for each park for more activities.
Junior Ranger Button: Show everyone that you're a Junior Ranger! After you complete your activities and take the Junior Ranger Pledge you'll receive a Junior Ranger Button. You can pin it to your pack, put it on a bulletin board, or proudly wear it. Check out the button for this park in the picture.
Kartchner Caverns Virtual Summer Camp
Kartchner Caverns presents five weeks of virtual activities so you can beat the heat and still learn about the amazing cave system here in Arizona! Discover the ecology of the caves, their history, and the way caves are formed, from their walls to their stalactites and stalagmites. Every Tuesday, check back here for the week’s activity! For more kid-friendly, educational activities, check out azstateparks.com/play.
Check out the new coloring book from Ranger Westover!
Week 1: Watering Kartchner Caverns
Discover how the cycle of water, from rain to carbon dioxide, finds its way underground to form caverns and their decorations.
Week 2: What’s in a Cave?
Wildlife of all kinds live in the caves...Complete the Invertebrate Crossword and learn all about the underground ecosystem!
Week 3: What’s Outside?
Now it’s time to explore your backyard or neighborhood! Head outside or look out the window and see how many squares you can check off!
Week 4: Natives and Our Heritage
Native Americans made their home in this area before anyone knew of the expansive cave system beneath them. Read about the people who lived here and try your hand at trading and choosing your home like they used to!
Week 5: Hike the Park Virtually
Complete the Arizona State Parks coloring book, and hike the Ocotillo trail virtually on Google maps!
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of Kartchner Caverns and the awesome science and history—and had a little fun along the way! You can also download all the activities in one book, and complete them together or print them out! Post your coloring on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and tag us @azstateparks!
Discovery Center Scavenger Hunt
Many of the exhibits in the Discovery Center will appeal to the interests of young people. A “caving wall” will allow children to create the experience of crawling through several narrow cave passages. Displays on animals will introduce kids to the many unique creatures that live in and around the cave. Having their picture taken with the Giant Sloth is a favorite activity and keepsake for the kids. You can download, print out, and bring with you to the park the fun Discovery Center Scavenger Hunt activity. Kids can explore the exhibits to find all the answers!
Natural History Curriculum: For Grades K - 6th
The goal of this curriculum guide is to assist you in conveying the unique story of Kartchner Caverns to your students. Through the lessons to be learned in these activities, the students will develop an appreciation of the geological and biological forces that created such a magnificent cave. We hope, also, to promote an understanding of the interrelationship between humans and Kartchner Caverns. We encourage the students to think about the choices that were available in the development of the cave and the consequences of each. Finally, and most importantly, we hope that through the use of these activities the learners will gain a sense of ownership and stewardship toward this non-renewable natural resource. Each activity includes the approximate age for which it was designed, a listing of the lesson's objectives, reproducible pages, materials' list, glossary of terms, cross-referencing, and other useful information that will assist teachers in dynamically presenting the curriculum. The curriculum meets state standards for science education.
You may download a complimentary copy of the Kartchner Caverns State Park Curriculum for your school or organization.
Girl Scout Patch
The Arizona Cactus-Pine Girl Scout Council has approved the following Council Patch Program for Kartchner Caverns State Park. Members of the Sahuaro Girl Scout Council are invited to earn the Cactus-Pine Council Patch.
"Discover the magic of the environment in a living cave. You will learn more about the formations in a cave and the animals and insects living inside."