Carlsbad Caverns is the feature attraction of New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Open every day, except Christmas Day, Carlsbad Caverns National Park features canyons, rocky slopes, cactus, and a whole host of wildlife. Furthermore, the park boasts of two entries on the National Register of Historic Places: The Caverns Historic District and the Rattlesnake Springs Historic District. Additionally, two-thirds of the park has been set aside as a wilderness area. Carlsbad Caverns features the third-largest chamber in North America and the seventh-largest in the world. That chamber, the Big Room, measures 4,000 feet in length, 625 feet in width, and is 255 feet high at its highest point. The cave itself features more than 300 limestone caves, which were carved over 250 million years ago.
The trip is made accessible thanks to paved trails, lights, and elevators that allow guests to thoroughly explore the cavern. Carlsbad Caverns National Park is around a four-hour drive from Albuquerque and a two-hour drive from El Paso, Texas. All visitors who enter Carlsbad Cavern are required to purchase an entrance ticket, which is good for three days. Adults 16 and older must pay $15, while children 15 and younger are free, along with pass holders. The last remaining free day of 2021 is on November 11.
Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats
One of the main sites at Carlsbad Caverns are the more than 400,000 Brazilian free-tailed bats, which leave the cave at night during sunset. You can enjoy this spectacular sight from early spring to mid-autumn, which is before the bats migrate south for the winter.
If you choose to forgo a guided tour, you can strike out on your own using two trails: the Big Room Trail and the Natural Entrance Trail. The Big Room Trail will take about an hour to complete. The Natural Entrance Trail is much more difficult than the Big Room Trail. It is the equivalent of climbing up and down a 75-story building.
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For a more in-depth tour, you can opt for a Ranger Tour. The tour guide will provide information on the various rocks and formations. The guide’s knowledge of the cavern and surrounding systems provides a more insightful experience.
Of note: All tours are temporarily suspended until further notice.
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