I have heard the name Carlsbad Caverns all my life, but never got to experience it for myself, until now! I went during the month of November and the park blew my mind! The best times to go are through the months of March to October to experience the bats fly out of the cave. You sit in the darkness at the amphitheater and wait for the bats to fly out, sounds like an unforgettable moment! We just missed that experience but regardless, it didn’t put a damper on the magnificence of the cave.
You get to choose how you want to explore the cavern, a self-guided tour or go with a guide. If you choose to have a guide, you sign up for a tour ahead of time on the NPS website. If you choose a self-guided tour, you can walk at your own pace through the caverns.
If you are in shape, I suggest taking the natural entrance because you get to see a whole lot more. The path is completly paved, but it is steep heading into the depths of the cave. There are lots of swithbacks! If you feel uncomforable with that, you can take the elevator down into the “Big Room,” which is where most of the formations are.
There are informational signs throughout the cave to understand the natural formations a little better. There is also an audio set you can purchase at the beginning of your hike for five dollars. The headset just reiterates everything you can read on the signs, so it’s not impairitive that you get one. There is also dim lighting in the whole cave, so you do not need to bring a light, but you still can if you choose.
I think one of the most interesting parts of this whole tour for me was learning the history of this park. History is a hit or miss for me. I’m not a huge history buff, but as for this park, I just found it so exciting. The signs tell you how they discovered the cave, back in the 1920’s. National Geographic sent out a group for six months to do a study on this cave. The cave is so massive that they only discovered a portion of it. As of today, they are still discovering more rooms!!!
Now, as you walk through this cave, you notice the floor is covered in stalagmites, columns, and more. So you wonder how in the world did they walk through this place. Where did they step? The cave was unexplored so it didn’t have pathways leading you through it. It didn’t have the artificial lighting the cave has now and the cave is very deep! They had to set up ladders to head into the depths of it. The signs say the explorers “felt uneasy swaying from the ladders,” that went down into the darkness. I would have never been able to do that. They did not know how deep it went, where it lead, or what was down there. Very creepy but they did it! Fascinating!!!
This place is great. Definitely put it on your bucket list if you have not visited yet.
Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed!!!