Far, far away from the high-speed freeway frontage, midway between Williams and Kingman, just east of Peach Springs, lies a large green sign that marks the entrance to Grand Canyon Caverns. This amazing national landmark has somehow survived despite being bypassed by 1-40. It’s now one of the prime tourist draws on the Arizona stretch of Route 66. The Grand Canyon Caverns were discovered and developed in the late 1930s and still have the feel of an old-timey roadside attraction.
Exploration through the Grand Canyon Caverns is ongoing. Curious wafts of air seeping through niches and floor fissures provide proof that other caverns await discovery deep below. Existing below the present-day Grand Canyon Caverns, approximately 1500 feet below ground level are two large rooms that were discovered with seismic testing. What is down there is a gourmet meal for any wild imagination.
Travel back in time with an amazing tour that starts every half-hour at the gift shop. Here you’ll jump on an old elevator that drops down 200-300 feet to underground chambers, including the 18,000 square feet Chapel of the Ages. Most tours last around 45 minutes.
The Grand Canyon Skywalk
Back above ground, there’s also a gas station and a motel. If you want the full experience, plan on staying for a weekend and staying overnight in the Cavern Suite: a fully furnished two-bed suite that dates back to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. These old suites used to be set up as fallout shelters.
Part way along the Historic Route 66 loop between Seligman and Kingman, the road comes close to the Grand Canyon as it passes through the large and lonely Hualapai Indian Reservation. This strong Hualapai tribe has its community center in the heart of the town of Peach Springs and this marks the halfway point of this 87-mile-old road loop and has a delightful place to stay and learn more about this fascinating indigenous tribe.
Consider staying at the relaxing Hualapai Lodge and eating at the delicious Diamond Creek restaurant. This place is filled with scenic views and perfect Instagramming spots!
In addition, the Hualapai community has truly embraced tourism with the much-hyped Grand Canyon Skywalk. This glass-floored steel horseshoe sits just out from the edge of the Grand Canyon (4,000 feet) above the Colorado River. This breathtaking site is something that you just can’t miss in your experience of the Grand Canyon Caverns.
Check out one of the amazing tour options below.
- Length: 45 minutes (¾ miles), departs hourly
- Price: Adults $25; Senior $21; Child $15; Under 5 is free
- Suitable for all ages (advance purchase is recommended)
- Length: 2 ½ hours
- Price: $99
- Must be at least 8 years old to participate. Hiking experience is recommended along with good explorer shape. Reservations are required.
- Length: 2 ½ hours
- Price: $120
- This is an intense hike, it’s recommended to be physically fit and be able to take specific directions, it is easy to get lost. Reservations are required.
- Length 1 hour
- Price $35
- Departs 5 pm Friday and Saturday Nights; Reservations are required
While you’re here, make sure to check out Cavern’s Grotto. This unique styled restaurant is found in the bottom cave under the Grand Canyon Caverns. Inside the walls are covered with iron oxide and selenite crystals that look like glittering gold and diamonds.
When this cave was discovered in the 1920’s by Walter Peck they found a decades-old mummified bobcat which altered them right away to this being a ‘dead cave’. Specifically, this means there is no natural running water, sunlight or bacteria (no living organisms at all). Nothing can withstand these depths, which means no creepy crawlies to worry about while you dine out in this incredibly original restaurant space. Only three percent of all caverns in the world are dead in this manner, making this an incredibly unique experience.
This delightful space can often be cold, being so far underground. Make sure to bring an extra jacket or go ahead and order that extra cocktail to keep your body warm.
This amazing cavern has many interesting views and detailed natural designs inside perfect for your inner photographer. Check out:
- Devil's Den
- Snowball Palace
- Mammoth Dome
- Grape Clusters
- Cave Coral
- Winter Crystal (Selenite)
- The Giant's Keyhole
- A 160-foot, man-made tunnel blasted through solid rock
In addition to all the amazing activities the Grand Canyon Caverns have to offer, there are also incredibly fun activities just down the way on Route 66. Book your stay at the Hualapai Lodge and make a whole weekend out of it. Check out the Canyon West Tours. Here they offer a full experience of “Ranch Days,” including cookouts, camping tours, river rafting, and horseback riding. Book early and experience the unspoiled beauty of the Grand Canyon State.
This amazing adventure is sure to have something for everyone! Grab the family, some friends or a loved one and head on over to the Grand Canyon Caverns for a truly memorable experience!