My husband Jared and I recently took a trip (a 10 year wedding anniversary trip!) to a different area of Arizona’s Grand Canyon we had never been to – Hualapai’s Indian Reservation. I could write a blog about the wonderful 35+ mile hiking trip we took to multiple gorgeous waterfalls past Supai, the reservation’s “capital,” but we’re not here to discuss hiking/camping trips… On our return from the wonderful experience though, we stopped at the Grand Canyon Caverns on the original Route 66, near Peach Springs, because I had seen on a magazine where one could dine inside the caverns. I’m always looking for unique experiences and that sounded like one. It sure was… but, in addition to that, we also learned that one could fly into Grand Canyon Caverns Airport (L37) and partake in other activities. That’s what I want to tell you about here…
The Grand Canyon Caverns Airport (L37), owned by Grand Canyon Caverns & Inn, LLC, is a privately owned, public use airport with a 5,100 x 45 ft. gravel runway (5/23) at an elevation of 5,397 ft. Keep in mind that the airfield does not sell fuel (the closest may be KIGM Kingman (https://www.airnav.com/airport/KIGM) to the southwest) but it is strategically located within walking/biking distance of the recreational complex.
This site map shows the airfield and the rest of the complex
Source: Google Earth, 2018.
For more information and a video of a takeoff from the Airport, visit: https://gccaverns.com/grand-canyon-caverns-airport/
As its name implies, the recreational complex has caverns, the largest dry caverns in the U.S., located 200 to 300 feet below the surface, and accessible via an elevator (or multiple sets of stairs). The caverns date back 345 million years, at the bottom of an ancient sea. You can read more about its history on their website: https://gccaverns.com/about/history.
Easily accessible to more adventurous, off-path tours are offered. During our visit to the caverns and lunch at The Grotto, we had the chance to meet owner John McEnulty, who offered to give us a private tour of the caverns.
The Grotto Restaurant
The view from our dining table
In addition, it also offers a gas station, a gift shop, a motel, a ranch house, a campground, one underground suite inside the cave, a convenience market, and (technically) two restaurants (the regular restaurant by the gift shop and The Grotto inside the caves). A variety of tours are also offered: one and two-day rafting trips covering the last 70 miles of the Colorado River, horseback riding, wagon rides, cattle drives, rodeo, etc in addition to tours of the caverns, of course.
It was also interesting to learn that the nearby town of Peach Springs was the inspiration for Radiator Springs in the movie Cars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiator_Springs. The gas station part of the Caverns complex definitely looked like a set from the movie. Pretty neat! Just wish it would have looked like the movie Planes instead ;)
We only live once and life is short; make it count! Travel, fly, explore, experience…!
BLOGS ON THIS PAGE
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- 3rd Annual Backcountry Fly-in at the Beautiful Mystic Bluffs (NM56) Airstrip in New Mexico
- New Mexico True Trails - Route 66 National Scenic Flyway
- Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California in 12 Days