Have you ever been some place that was so amazing you couldn’t even possibly begin to describe it? For us that place was Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
Before our visit what we knew about Carlsbad Caverns was that it was a National Park with a cave, and it was in New Mexico. That’s it. What we knew when we left Carlsbad Caverns National Park was that we had stumbled on a land of wonder, and unimaginable beauty.
There are no words we could string together (try as we might) to help you understand how stunning this park is, so we are going to let the pictures do the talking…
Know Before You Go
There are a lot of options for exploring Carlsbad Caverns underground. We opted for self-guided so we could go at our own pace and take it all in on our own time. We walked in via the Natural Cave Entrance and back out the same way we came in. Due to the steep incline ( approximately 90 stories up and down), most visitors choose to walk into the cave and use the elevator to exit but hey, we like a good workout!
We would have loved to have taken one of the more in depth cave tours where visitors get to see areas not available to the public without a guide but arrived too late in the day. Don’t be like us, plan ahead! You can find a published schedule of tour times here.
Hiking & Wildlife Viewing:
As one Park Ranger said to us, “People think of Carlsbad Caverns National Park as a cave park, but really we’re a park with a nice cave” what he was getting at is although it’s hard to imagine, there is a lot more to this park than just an incredible cave.
Carlsbad Caverns is home to one largest of the largest bat populations in the world, the caves can hold up to 200 bats per square foot! In the summer the park offers bat viewing programs in the summer evenings as the bats make their nightly exodus from the cave to open lands to feed- we, unfortunately, visited during the colder months, and didn’t get to see this- we’ll save it for next time! You can learn more about the Bat Flight Program here.
The park also features, a scenic loop drive, as well as several hiking trails to get you out an about in search of all the other critters that call this landscape home!
The address for the park’s visitor center and cave entrance is:
727 Carlsbad Caverns Highway
Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220
Longitude: 104.445855° W
Latitude: 32.174212° N