Must See: Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

July 21, 2012 by

More than 100 caves make up the underground cave system at Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Sulfuric acid dissolved into limestone millions of years ago formed these fantastic caves. Throughout history, an interesting underground life formed in the caves, and today visitors can explore the diverse ecosystem.

While going through the caves on a guided tour or walking through on your own, visitors can expect to see The Big Cave, Kings Palace, The Good Luck Cave and a large colony of Brazilian free-tailed bats in The Bat Cave.

Visitors can explore on their own, but it’s recommended that you take a Ranger-led tour to experience the caves in full effect. Rangers take guests into undeveloped caves, through tight spaces, and into the gritty areas of the underground caverns.

Needless to say, the Ranger-led tours are for those seriously interested in spelunking and underground exploration. After working up an appetite exploring, visitors can actually eat lunch in The Big Cave at a cafeteria style lunchroom.

If you prefer to stay above ground, the Carlsbad Caverns National Park has plenty of areas to hike and bird watch. For the adventurous travelers, day permits can be obtained to enter the backcountry caves for some serious repelling and rock climbing.

Whatever part of the caverns or park you are exploring, be sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes and pack a camera to capture this amazing natural wonder.

Photo source: National Park Service

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