GRAND CANYON, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Grand Canyon Caverns is an Arizona treasure, more than 200 feet underground.

Off of Route 66, west of Seligman, drivers cannot help but notice the dinosaurs, old cars and motel on the grounds. But the elevator ride down into the earth unveils the gem below the surface.

[WATCH: Journey below ground to Grand Canyon Caverns]

Owner of the Caverns, John McEnulty, says they are the largest dry caverns in the United States. It is a constant 60 degrees in the caverns.

"Because of the limestone filtering, the barometric pressure causes the air to flow in or out, and through all that limestone it ends up being filtered and you end up with pretty close to pure air," explains McEnulty, "And beautiful air. That's something we rarely experience anywhere any more."

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Some sections are massive, including the area called the "Chapel of the Ages."

"It's about 110 yards in length from end to end, and the ceiling about 40 feet high," says tour guide David Sikes.

"This is called the Chapel of the Ages for 2 reasons. First is the this cathedral like shape it has to it, which is completely natural," he said. "Second is that we've have somewhere around 12 weddings."

There is a platform for a small wedding.

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There is also one of the most unique hotel suites, right in the middle of the cavern. Guests can spend the night 210 feet under ground.

McEnulty says the suite is usually booked 5 out of 7 days a week and booked out two years now; and while he won't mention names, he says many celebrities have stayed here.

"Fresh air, nothing dripping, a constant temperature feeling to the body of about 72 degrees, which is a combination of 62 degrees and low humidity - It's just heaven underground," says McEnulty.

If spending the night is not quite your speed, you can always have a meal in the cavern at the "Cavern Grotto."

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McEnulty says they don't prepare any of the food down below. They want to respect and preserve this natural wonder as much as possible. So they have a system that keeps the food warm until it's delivered to your table.

You will definitely work up an appetite after taking a tour. Besides the Chapel of the Ages, guests will also see a part of the cavern that has been preserved as a fallout shelter since the Cuban Missile Crisis, stocked with water and MREs (Meals Ready to Eat).

If you're really adventurous, you can go on what's called the "Wild Tour." Guides lead you off the trails, deep into the Cavern. You will explore different rooms and caves, in some cases so narrow you are crawling on your hands and knees and even on your belly.

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Besides tourists, McEnulty says geologists also visit them to explore the strata of Grand Canyon. He says those looking for signs of the paranormal also stop in.

"I personally do not see any spirits here, but people who have a connection to the paranormal often times visit with spirits here. All of the professional spirit people come here regularly and do shows and videos. They're almost always pleased with the result," he said.

McEnulty says all his guests seem to leave happy, and surprised, to see and experience this Arizona gem hidden beneath the earth's surface.

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The cavern suite goes for $900 a night, but there is a motel on the property, along with campgrounds.

Gina Maravilla appears every weekday on Good Morning Arizona keeping you up-to-date on your morning commute.  

Join Gina and the rest of the Good Morning Arizona family weekdays starting at 4:30 a.m.

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

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