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Arizona geological wonder is seen by few

PHOENIX -- The 'Bottomless Pit' in the Flagstaff area has been an attractive nuisance for more than a century. The name is somewhat misleading. It's called the bottomless pit but it's not.

"It's open fractures and cave features as far down as 2,000 feet below the surface," said Don Bills with the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff.

During heavy rain and runoff, the Rio de Flag pools with water, filling up this deep hole, which lies on private property, before it eventually disappears into the ground.

"In 1988 there was actually a lake starting to develop there. People went out there, heard a roar and found nothing but a big hole in the ground," Bills said.

He is among the few allowed to see the pit.

"It's fenced off and the property owner realizes it can be a hazard and are sensitive to that."

In 1991 two boys climbed into the pit to explore and got stuck. They had to be rescued by fire crews.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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