Our Visit to Grand Canyon Caverns (Warning! They Might Be Haunted!)

From as far back as I can remember, I’ve had a “thing” with caves. I’m sure it has to do with the fact that my dad liked them, so when I was a little kid and we’d go on vacation, we’d stop at caves. So by the time I was, I dunno, 4 or so, I had already been to Howe Caverns in Upstate NY, Luray Caverns in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, and probably a couple of other caves I don’t remember visiting. Joe, either liking caves as well, or just putting up with me, was happy (or at least willing) to explore caves with me so since the time we’ve been married, we’ve explored lava tubes in Hawaii, as well as caves and caverns in Texas, New Mexico and Cuba. So when we realized that Grand Canyon Caverns was (A) in the middle of our drive between the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, (B) was on Route 66 and (C) had been visited by the Ghost Adventures Crew (Joe is a fan) because of possible paranormal activity, we knew we had to include it in our trip.

HISTORY

The Grand Canyon Caverns are the largest dry caverns in the United States. They were discovered in 1927 and not long thereafter, became, not surprisingly, a tourist attraction where the owner charged visitors 25 cents per person to be lowered via rope-around-the-waist so they could see the big hole he had discovered (patrons needed to bring their own light sources). Times have changed since then, so there’s now a 210′ elevator to bring you down, and lots of good lighting (the price is also about $20 nowadays, instead of a quarter). Click here for (much) more detail about the caverns’ early days.

LOCATION

The Grand Canyon Caverns are about a 2-hour drive from the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park, which makes it a perfect resting spot between there and Las Vegas. It’s off Route 66 and the inside and outside are exactly what you’d expect a roadside Route 66 stop off to look like (you can click on the pictures for a better view).

 


OUR TOUR

When Joe and I arrived, we had about 15 minutes until the next tour. The time went quickly as we explored the artifacts and kitschy stuff that was just about everywhere :-).

Our tour was a group of about 14 people, and followed the description on their website:

The tour begins with an elevator ride down 21 stories (210 feet) to the Chapel of the Ages cavern, the scene of numerous weddings throughout the years and large enough to hold two football fields. Your guide will tell you about the history of these awesome Caverns, including information regarding areas you will not visit. You will view Selenite and limestone crystals, our unique “winter crystals,” and Helecite crystals (a very rare form of Selenite). See the “teacup handles,” red-wall limestone, crystals and more.

You can click on the photos below to see them better. Some are mine and some are via http://gccaverns.com/

GHOST ADVENTURES

As I mentioned earlier (and as he has said himself, here and here), Joe is a fan of ghost shows and Ghost Adventures is one of his favorites. In fact, that post I wrote about the (possibly haunted) Clown Motel (next to the cemetery) that’s for sale? The one that Ghost Adventures visited? Totally did that because I love Joe that much ;-). So yeah, since The Grand Canyon Caverns were a big part of Episode 1 of Season 10, that was another reason for wanting to visit. As per the episode guide:

The team investigates Grand Canyon Caverns in Peach Springs, AZ, formerly a sacred Indian burial site. The guys dodge mysterious rocks thrown at them during the night’s lockdown, and Zak has an eerie, one-on-one encounter.

And why did Ghost Adventures go there? As per Grand Canyon Caverns’ own website:

Over the last half century 8 people have died or been buried on or in the caverns property, and another 4 have spent their lives and have had huge emotional ties of a lifetime in the Caverns. Un-explained ghost and paranormal sightings and activities have been recorded and witness by employees and guest alike. The most popular sighting is seeing a man, believed to be ghost of Walter Peck at the top and bottom of the elevator shaft, opening the doors at different times. Also of great interest, was when the Caverns were used as a burial site for the Native American Indians during winter months? The bodies have been removed, but the whispering sounds of the Indians can often be heard in the caverns when one listens according to reports. And at night in the darkness of the caverns, you do hear things that are not supposed to be heard according to reports. Overnight guess in the caverns suite have also reported seeing what appears to be shadows of Indian figures moving in a dance formation, circular on the rocks, as well as a distant chanting. Other reports have been of seeing images of the hanging of a body at the top of the caverns (A person did so 30 years ago) the list does go on.

They did mention the Ghost Adventures crew during the tour; how they stayed in the caverns overnight and Zak’s encounter with a possible spirit. I never feel the presence of spirits and Joe said he didn’t either, but there is permanent proof in the caverns that Ghost Adventures was there.

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MY THOUGHTS

Overall, Grand Canyon Caverns was a nice place to stop and walk around for 60+ minutes, especially after sitting in a car for 2 hours. I especially appreciated that it was reminiscent of “old” Route 66. Everyone who worked there was nice and well-versed on the caverns. We give it 2 thumbs up!

Guided walking tours like the one Joe and I did are done every 30 minutes and last roughly 45 minutes. You walk on a prepared path (albeit with a LOT of up and down stairs) for about 3/4 miles and need to be physically fit enough for the tour, as well as wear appropriate shoes. The cost is $20.95 for adults (13+), $15.95 for seniors (65+), and $13,95 for children (6-12). Age 5 and under are free and AAA/AARP discounts are available. They offer a cafe, theater and even a “hotel room” of sorts, all inside the cave, for varying extra costs. The Grand Canyon Caverns have also been used for several weddings. Other tours, including wheelchair accessible, “adventure tours” and ghost tours are also available (we SO would have done the ghost tour if the timing had been better). More info can be found on their website.

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