Carlsbad Caverns

New Mexico Travel Blog

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50' tall stalagmites (not my photo)
The creation of Carlsbad Caverns began millions of years ago as a horseshoe reef covered by an inland sea. The sea evaporated, then began an uplift creating the mountains. A combination of acidic rainwater seeping down through the cracks and gas percolating upward formed the large caverns (second largest in the world) and otherworldly calcite formations. Over millions of years, billions of drops of water formed these strange shapes by evaporating, leaving behind different minerals.

The second guided tour involved a strenous, very challenging obstacle course. It began with a 20 minute walk down dozens of switchbacks into the natural entrance (bat exit). Then the tour guide disappeared through the cavern wall, corkscrewing his way through toward the 2nd obstacle. The chimney crawl was next, followed by a squeeze through a worm hole about 2 feet wide, 12 inches tall & 6 feet long. Fingertips & toes were the only form of locomotion here. The ladder (8 inches wide) was the 4th taking us up through a narrow climb, twisting & turning. The rope was last up a slippery rock slope, finally leading us to an area we could actually stand in. The destination of this tour was the "Hall of the White Giant", a massive calcite formation about 35' tall & 10' wide. The only way out was to return the way we arrived. A fantastic way to spend an afternoon.
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50 tall stalagmites (not my photo)
50' tall stalagmites (not my photo)
Natural entrance. Also bat exit. (…
Natural entrance. Also bat exit. …
The Big Room (not my photo)
The "Big Room" (not my photo)
The Big Room (not my photo)
The "Big Room" (not my photo)
Stalagtites
Stalagtites
The Left Hand Tunnel
The "Left Hand Tunnel"
Almost a column
Almost a column
The Lions Tail
The "Lions Tail"
self explanatory
self explanatory
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