Peppersauce Cave


Useful Information

Location: Santa Catalina Mountains, 16 km south of Oracle, Arizona. (32.52444°N, 110.70722°W)
Open: No restrictions.
[2011]
Fee: free.
[2011]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension:  
Guided tours: V=23,000/a
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

1948 first description of the cave published by the Desert Magazine.
1951 article about the cave in the National Geographic Magazine.
2001 Peppersauce Cave Conservation Project (PCCP) established.

Description

Peppersauce Cave is a wild cave of the kind sacrifice cave. This means the cave is publicly known and visited by many people who like cave exploring as a sport. The cave has 23,000 visitors per year, a number which most show caves do not have.

The down side is the heavy vandalism and littering for over fifty years. The result was finally the discovery of E. Coli and coliform bacteria within the cave's lakes in 2001. Obviously a result of people defecating in the cave. As a result the Peppersauce Cave Conservation Project (PCCP) was established in the same year. The group removed garbage and graffiti and completely cleaned the cave. As a result the bacteria had vanished in 2003. Additionally there was an information kiosk erected at the cave entrance and a website created. The effort was honored by a grant from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), which allowed the purchase of the necessary equipment.