New Mexico, United States
Carlsbad Caverns Reviews
World's Largest Natural Cave: The Carlsbad Cavern Jun 25, 2010
Ansel Adams described Carlsbad Caverns as “Something that should not exist in relation to human beings. Something that is as remote as the galaxy, incomprehensible as a nightmare, and beautiful in spite of everything” Making the bat cave adventure a summer activity gives one the opportunity to judge whether or not Ansel Adams was right in describing the caverns so. The artist Adams and many others have original art displayed at the gallery in the park's visitor center.
There are 5 internationally recognized natural caves in the world, worth classifying as heritages. The Carlsbad Caverns takes the lead being recognized by UNESCO as one of the Natural World Heritage Sites. The Caverns were formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone I the area to form this mind blowing cave in the wilderness of New Mexico. Other caves include the Mammoth cave systems in Kentucky, the Jewel Cave in South Dakota, the Optymistychna in Ukraine and theGua Nasib Bagus in Malaysia.
Located in the shadows of the rugged Guadalupe mountains and broad plains, the Carlsbad Caverns takes you to another world, away from sunlight altogether. The silence and the darkness tell of an undisturbed world. In the unimaginable realm of the subterranean chambers divided into “Big Room” and “King's Palace”. The two chambers reveal awe inspiring cave formations and extraordinary features resembling the interiors of palaces of old. Nothing prepares you for what you actually see inside the cave, not the many photographs taken before, not the writings of travelers who have been there before, not even the art by great artists like Ansel Adams. The photographs and writings do no justice to the caverns. Your eyes have not seen anything as fantastic as the inside features of these magnificent caves. Big Room, a natural limestone chamber, is about 4,000 feet long, 625 feet wide, and 350 feet high at it's peak.
How to get there:
From Tucson, head east on I-10 towards El Paso, take the 62/180 exit towards New Mexico until you get to Whites city. Make a left turn after the Whites City sign to Carlsbad Caverns. A total journey of 6.5 hours if you do not break the journey with an overnight.
Ticket Prices and where to purchase:
Tickets can be purchased right at the visitor center. $6.00 for general admission to the Big room and Natural entrance route. $8.00 for a guided tour into the King's Palace. The scenic rooms are Ranger-guided tour only. Well worth paying $8.00 for.
You can choose from 3 main tours: No matter which one you choose, you will want to be in good physical shape. 2 of the tours are self-guided and the third is ranger guided. Note: there are not bats in the Big Room or the Kings Palace.
Tour I: Big Room Route
Tour II: Natural Entrance Route (Highly recommended, but must be in good physical shape)
Tour III: Kings Palace Guided Tour (Highly recommended)
All the above tours are about an hour and a half long, the natural entrance tour can be done in 45 minutes if you are not taking photos.
What to wear:
It is cold down below at 750 feet. The temperature down below is 56 degrees and below. Bring a sweater/ jacket. Wear low-healed, non skid shoes for the walk is long. You can carry a flash light, one is not required. Eat before going to the caves, no food is allowed, but drinks can be carried. There is a gift shop down below and up at the visitor center reception area where one can purchase the caver hat for children. Highly recommended.
Part of the Carlsbad Cavern National Park, 2010 travel blog
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