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Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The caverns are only 40 minutes north of Guadalupe. The road s-curves up from the valley floor to the top of the hill where the entrance to the caverns are. There were sizable crowds by lunch. I can't imagine how busy they are in the summer! One option is to hike down into the caverns from the "natural entrance", hike through the caverns until the "Big Room", then take the elevator back up to the top, some 800 feet! The elevator allows persons who could not otherwise visit the caverns to have the opportunity to do so. Taking decent photos without proper lighting is very difficult. Most of my photos were taken without a flash on a tripod. These caverns are absolutely stunning, a must see. In Mammoth Cave National Park, the caverns are long, narrow and extensive. In contrast Carlsbad caverns consist of wide open chambers with many more stalactites on the ceilings. Beautiful formations everywhere, especially in the fairyland gardens of the "Big Room". This huge room is awesome! All the formations have names. The one on the right is "The Doll's Theater". On the right is the cafeteria, gift shop and elevators, all 800 feet below the surface! The hike lasted about four hours, covering a distance of over a mile. For more info from the NPS web site, click here Return to previous page