When my friend Elisa asked me to go to the Carlsbad Caverns National Park, I never hesitated to say yes. It had been my plan to visit one of New Mexico’s favorite natural attractions. I have heard beautiful things being said about the caverns and how spacious it is inside. When I finally saw it, everything was confirmed. The cave was beyond amazing. Words cannot describe the true beauty of this underground wonder.

The drive to the city of Carlsbad and then to the Chihuahuan Desert from Las Cruces took 3.5 hours. The Carlsbad Caverns National Park is about 27 miles from the city proper. There is an additional 7 miles of driving from the park’s entrance gate to the cave’s entrance.

Finding a parking space seemed not a problem once you reach the visitor’s center.

First thing you need to do, decide if you want to take the guided tour with a park ranger or take the self-guided tour. In my opinion, the self-guided tour is the better option. You have the control of time and you can have as many stops as you want inside the cave in a self-guided tour. Once decided, pay the $10 entrance fee. This is actually an inexpensive fee compared to the other national parks I’ve visited.

What awaits you inside the cave?

Here’s a quick look of the entrance to the Visitor’s Center.Caverns

Short Walk.

There’s a short walk towards the entrance of the cave. Yes, the cave is underneath these pathways!

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Adventure begins.

First stop: the viewing area of the bat flight. Bats are present from April or May to late October. They appear around sunset and lasting a couple of hours.
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You see few bats flying outside the caves here.

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Spiraling down 750ft to the bottom.

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It gets darker as you walk down.

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Zigzagging.

It has safe and comfortable walkways that zigzag the rock formations inside.
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The “Big Room” houses amazing formations.

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Never-ending awesomeness.

Let the unending sights of stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, and columns surprise you.
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Check the walls.

They are covered with spectacular shapes.
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There are springs inside.

The park rangers requested visitors not to throw coins into them. They’re not wishing wells!
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Stop and explore every corner.

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Rest area.

At the very end of the trail are the elevators that bring you back to the top. And there is a lunchroom area where you can eat your snacks and rest.
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Bring something home.

Once you are back in the Visitor’s Center, don’t miss to check the huge gift shop.
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The size and magnitude of the cave is truly a marvel of nature. The hundreds of years of water drippings have made the underground scenery of the Carlsbad Caverns very unique.

The Carlsbad Caverns will not disappoint you. I have seen other caverns around the U.S., but the Carlsbad Caverns is the most beautiful with deep pits.

Tips:
1. Wear comfortable hiking shoes. There’ll be a lot of walking to do and some paths can be wet and slippery. Taking the self-guided tour from the cave’s entrance to the very end could take 1.5 to 2 hours. The way down can be a little steep.

2. Do not take the elevator going down. Walk down the trail. It is more fun and you do not want to miss the beautiful scenes along the way.

3. I recommend that you do the entire big loop because the best formations are on the back of the long loop.

4. Bring a flashlight to see the formations.

5. The temperature inside the cave is around the 50’s, a sweater or light jacket will be enough.

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See all my other travels around New Mexico here.

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