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Arizona’s Kartchner Caverns State Park opens

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PHOENIX — Kartchner Caverns State Park in southern Arizona has gone a little upscale, introducing two-room camping cabins this week for the season.

Officials said reservations were already being accepted.

The four cabins, which are close to the Foothills Loop Trail, sleep up to six people with one queen-sized bed and two twin-sized beds. Mattresses are provided, but campers must bring their own sheets or sleeping bags.

All of the cabins are equipped with electricity, heat and air-conditioning, microwaves and mini refrigerators. Each cabin also has a porch, picnic table, grill and fire pit.

There are no indoor restrooms or showers but each amenity is within walking distance of the cabins.

The cabins are located at the base of the Whetstone Mountains. They won’t be taking the place of RV and tent camping, that is still available.

According to the Arizona State Parks website, explorers Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts discovered the Kartchner Caverns in November 1974 while searching for limestone hills at the Whetstone Mountains.

It took more than two decades to make the caverns a part of the state parks because of research, planning, construction, mining and legal challenges.

Kartchner Caverns State Park, near Benson, brought in almost $10 million in 2014.

The caverns opened Nov. 5, 1999.

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