Category Archives: deals

National Parks will offer 3 free summer weekends

Your vacation doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Want to see some really cool spots for FREE? The National Park Service announced that it will offer three free weekends this summer on June 20-21, July 18-19 and August 15-16.

Three national parks are in Cochise County. Only one charges an entrance fee.  The other are free year round.

Photo (c) National Park Service

Photo (c) National Park Service

Chiricahua National Monument: This is an amazing place. The Chiricahua Apaches called it the “land of standing up rocks.” Volcanic activity started the formations, and years of erosion have sculpted these towering spires. You can choose from 15 hikes in the park. More than 200 species of birds call the area home. Faraway Ranch is also on site. It was once a simple homestead that was a guest ranch from 1917 to 1972. Check the park’s visitor center¬† for tour times. Chiricahua National Monument is between Willcox and Douglas in Cochise County. Check the Chiricahua National Monument’s website for directions.

Fort Bowie National Historic Site. Copyright Luanne Mattson

Fort Bowie National Historic Site. Copyright Luanne Mattson

Fort Bowie National Historic Site: The Indian Wars of the late 1800s started with the Bascom Affair. Learn about it, and see the ruins of the Fort when you complete the 1.5 mile hike into the site. It’s a beautiful spot! Fort Bowie is accessible by a dirt road. See the National Park Service’s directions to get there.

Coronado National Memorial: This national park site commemorates the spot where Spanish explorers crossed into the U.S. Birds, hiking trails, incredible views, history and limestone caves are here. Coronado National Memorial is south of Sierra Vista in Hereford. See directions at their website.

If you want to enjoy the outdoors this summer, these are some great places to explore.

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Kartchner Caverns discounts start today

Formations in Kartchner Caverns. Photo (c) Arizona State Parks

Formations in Kartchner Caverns. Photo (c) Arizona State Parks

Today’s the day! In June, one of Cochise County’s great attractions reduces its tour prices for the summer. See my earlier post for discount details. The park is offering this price through Sept. 4, 2009.

This is a very popular tour, so you’ll probably want to make reservations. Kartchner Caverns State Park is only 9 miles south of I-10 in Benson, Arizona. It’s really easy to get there.

Plan ahead to get a reservation. this cave is one of the top 10 living caves in the world.

Browse the Arizona State Parks website for Kartchner Caverns cave tour information. Enjoy the stunning formations! For tickets, call 520-586-2283.

Want another underground experience or two? There are two mine tours in Cochise County. Tombstone has a walking tour of the Good Enough Mine, one of Ed Schiffelin’s original silver mines, and Bisbee offers tours of their famous copper mines in the Queen Mine Tour. You can also visit another Cochise County cave. Hike in the Coronado National Memorial in Sierra Vista and you can get to a limestone cave. Stop at the Forest Service’s Visitors Center for more information, and make sure you bring a good flashlight and backup batteries if you go to this cave. It’s dark in there!

Enjoy!

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