It never crossed my mind that the United States had something like wonderous caves. But then my friend Anna sent me a list of amazing caves which included Carlsbad Caverns, and then while watching the Planet Earth documentary, it was also featured in their Caves episode. So to find out that Carlsbad Caverns is in New Mexico immediately made the State that much cooler and more exciting to visit.
We flew into Albuquerque, New Mexico and ended up driving about 5.5 hours on a foggy open road, through the state’s open landscape in order to get to Carlsbad Cavern National Park.
Immediately as we parked, this one guy who looked like he’d been on a long and exciting road trip came up to us and handed us two entrance tickets to the park. He and his friend had just finished up and was done with the tickets that was good for three full days. Score! The trip was already starting off on a great foot!
There are two ways to get to the cave grounds itself. You can either walk a steep slope through the cave entrance or take the elevator (!!!) from the park’s Visitor’s Center straight down. Being young and adventurous, we thought we would walk it down and use the elevator to head back up. This was apparently the common thing to do. Interestingly enough, just in front of the entrance was the open amphitheater where people can be seated so they can see bats from the cave escape to do their nightly food hunting.
Instantly upon entering, we saw some great formations forming. It took about an hour and a half of a slope walk (quite steep in the beginning) to finally get to the cave bottom.
There are many areas of the cave, but we decided to explore the Big Room, mainly because it was self-guided and what the park is known for. This room is huge! 30,000 square yards and took at least an hour of walking to go around. The great thing is, there is a concrete pathway so exploring this area is accessible to anyone of any age.
I really would have thought the temperature would get colder as you get lower underground, but I actually found myself stripping my outer-layer more as the hours progressed. Maybe it was because of all the walking and exercise we were doing, or I don’t know what, but yeah. I built up quite a sweat during the walk!
Honestly, this place was SO worth the drive! I have never been in a cave before and Carlsbad Caverns set the bar high. I looked left and right the whole time, because every part of it was unique in some way, which is just astounding. I took so many photos but in the end, I’ll just show you these handfuls in hopes that you may go and experience it yourself 🙂
We were able to explore this cave sufficiently in about 2.5 hours so it’s definitely something you don’t have to dedicate a lot of time to.