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Route 66 Wednesdays; Grand Canyon Caverns

East of Peach Springs along Old US 66 in Yavapai County is the Grand Canyon Caverns.


Grand Canyon Caverns is a rare series of dry limestone caves approximately 200 below the surface of Old US 66.  Originally the Grand Canyon Caverns were called "Dinosaur Caverns" but the name changed once it was discovered that the roughly 60-mile network of caverns extended to the Grand Canyon.  Grand Canyon Caverns was known to the local Hualapai Tribe located in Peach Springs but they were discovered in 1927 by gold prospector Walter Peck (yes, the same name as the EPA agent in Ghostbusters).  Grand Canyon Caverns quickly became a tourist attraction with tours entering the natural entrance until a new entrance was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1935.  The modern elevator shaft to the main cavern was installed in 1962 which was also the year that Grand Canyon Caverns was designated a fallout shelter.

The grounds around Grand Canyon Caverns have many displays of vintage cars and assorted dinosaur sculptures.




The visitor center has a large display detailing facts about Grand Canyon Caverns.  For a price, you can actually stay the night in the Crystal Cavern.


The Crystal Cavern is located 220 feet below the surface at the bottom of the main elevator shaft.  The temperature of the Crystal Cavern is a constant 56F.



There are many displays citing facts about the Grand Canyon Caverns.  The guided caverns are surprisingly well lit which should be obvious from the fact that I was able to pick up clear pictures with a Blackberry phone.



It isn't probably all that obvious but the shaft in the rocks overhead is the natural entrance which was sealed when the modern elevator was installed.


The actual Grand Canyon Caverns Inn is located directly below the natural entrance.


There are still underground food rations from the height of the Cold War still on display.



Apparently, things didn't go well when this bobcat fell down the natural entrance as it was mummified by the dry air of Grand Canyon Caverns.


As for Peach Springs, it is the current headquarters for the Hualapai Tribe and is located directly west of the Mohave County line near Grand Canyon Caverns.






Peach Springs dates back to the 1880s when it was created as a rail siding of the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad.  Peach Springs can be seen on the 1882 A&P operating map.

1882 A&P Railroad Operating Map


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