Please see our Cave Tours page for information on how to prepare for your visit.
Cave Tours for School Groups
School Tour Contact Information
Reservations are strongly recommended to guarantee a tour. Reservations can be made by calling the school reservation number at 520-586-4100 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. School group planners have the opportunity to make arrangements with a specialized phone reservation attendant. Reservations are taken from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., (MST) M-F. Office is closed Christmas Day.
Reservations can be made up to a year in advance. There are no blocked group tours on Saturday or Sunday.
When taking a cave tour, one adult must accompany every seven children on the tour for school groups. We are unable to accommodate preschool, kindergarten, or first grade school tours.
A tour confirmation letter will be mailed and tickets can be picked up at the park's front desk one hour prior to the tour time. It is recommended that visitors arrive approximately one hour prior to tour time. If a group fails to show, reservations may be canceled 15 minutes prior to tour time.
Group tours can load and unload in front of the Discovery Center. The driver is welcome to visit the Discovery Center and any other above ground park facilities, including the restrooms, food concessions, and picnic areas. The park has adequate restroom facilities to accommodate a tour group.
Payment and Rescheduling Policies
Payment is due either in full when the reservation is made using a credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or with a company check or money order, made payable to Kartchner Caverns State Park. Payment must be received one month prior to the tour date or the park will cancel the reservation (cashiers check or school direct check must be made payable to Kartchner Caverns State Park).
Arizona State Parks has developed an entire school curriculum on CD and downloadable PDF for kindergarten through sixth grade teachers. If you would like to receive a complimentary CD ROM copy of the Kartchner Caverns State Park curriculum for your school or organization, please call 520-586-4117.
Natural History Curriculum for Grades K - 6th: The goal of this curriculum guide is to assist teachers in conveying the unique story of Kartchner Caverns to their students. The lessons will encourage students to 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.
School Group Guidelines
Parks have rules and regulations for the safety of students as well as other visitors. These rules are for all school groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, kids clubs, and organizations.
Kartchner Caverns is a world-class show cave. Preservation of this outstanding resource is our top priority. Your school will be interacting with other visitors from all over the world and will leave a lasting impression with them. Your careful attention to the guidelines listed below will ensure a memorable and educational experience for all. Thank you for your cooperation and we hope you enjoy your visit.
Please review the following information with teachers, chaperones, and students prior to your scheduled visit.
- At least four adult teachers/chaperones is required for every 16 students during your cave tour. Please assign each student to a specific chaperone prior to your tour.
- Teachers/chaperones are responsible for the behavior of each student at all times during your visit.
- Teachers/chaperones must stay with their assigned students while on the park grounds, in the exhibit areas, in the theater, in the gift shop, in the café, on the tram and in the caverns.
- The large ramada may be used for lunch; please do not use the café seating area.
- Please DO NOT wear name tags as they often fall off and can litter the trails.
- There are medical packs available for visitors that need to bring inhalers/medicines on their tour.
THE DISCOVERY CENTER
The Discovery Center is an institute of learning. We need your help by using INSIDE VOICES ONLY. At times the noise level can become disruptive to the other guests and to the operation of the Discovery Center. Upon arrival your group will be met by park staff to review rules and regulations.
Things to see at the Discovery Center are:
VIDEO PRESENTATION - There is a 15 minute video that can be watched before or after the cave tour.
MUSEUM/EXHIBIT AREAS – All the exhibits are to be used as learning tools, they are not toys. Please do not climb on top of the rock walls or other exhibits in the Discovery Center.
Running is not permitted inside the Discovery Center or any of the surrounding areas.
LOCKERS ARE AVAILABLE FOR LARGE GROUPS
Group lockers are available at the Discovery Center. Please store all backpacks, purses, cameras, flashlights, water bottles, fanny packs, and cell phones prior to your tours.
Gift Shop purchases should be made AFTER your tour, unless you are on a tour after 1:20 p.m. Please see gift shop hours below and plan accordingly.
Teachers, chaperones and students need to follow all the cavern rules. Any group not following these rules may be asked to leave the Discovery Center/Caverns.
- Restrooms are located at the entrance to the Discovery Center and on the back patio.
- Please make sure your group uses the drinking fountains and restroom before their tour.
- Touching or damaging formations is strictly prohibited and punishable by law.
- A chaperone will have to exit with their assigned students if they have to leave the cave for any reason.
- Please be respectful of others while on your tour and use inside voices at all times.
- Jackets are NOT encouraged for cave tours. It is exceptionally warm year round inside the caverns. Your tour guide will show you the proper method of how to carry jackets during colder times of the year.
You will be riding a tram to and from the cave, please follow the instructions of your Tour Guide and driver. For your safety, please stay seated and keep hands, arms, legs and feet inside at all times. A teacher or chaperone needs to ride in the back seat of each tram car.
THE GIFT SHOP/BAT CAVE CAFÉ
When visiting the Gift Shop or Café, the staff will meet you in the front of the store. The staff will explain the appropriate behavior that needs to be followed. Gift shop purchases should be made after your tour. We hope you enjoy the many souvenirs/items that are available for you to purchase.
If you plan on using the hiking trails children 16 years or younger MUST be accompanied by an adult.
- Be sure to take plenty of water with you while on your hike.
- Stay only on the designated trails. The bridge, tram roads, and campgrounds are off limits.
- Climbing or hiking on top or near the entrance to the caverns is prohibited.
- All plants, animals, flowers, rocks, and natural features are protected. Please do not damage, destroy or remove them from the park.
Restrooms are located at the entrance to the Discovery Center and on the patio behind the Discovery Center.
Gift Shop Hours:
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.