If you’re traveling through southern Mexico and Carlsbad Caverns isn’t on your list of sights to see, put it there. This phenomenon of nature is well worth the detour.
Located in the Guadalupe Mountains, Carlsbad Caverns was formed 250 million years ago when it was the coastline for an inland sea. Inside you’ll find 119 caves with stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations. Some look like big boulders, others like gigantic icicles. These limestone formations are all stunning.
The formations can be found in “rooms,” some of which are huge. The Big Room, for example, got its name because it’s the biggest down there. It is 4,000 feet long, 625 feet wide and 285 feet high. It is the fifth largest cavern in North America.
Formations and caves have names, such as the Balloon Ballroom, Witch’s Finger, Chocolate High, Halloween Hall and Left Hand Tunnel. Signage throughout describes what you’re looking at.
And, of course, there’s the Bat Cave, so named because the cavern’s majority of bats sleep here during the day. They leave at sunset in swarms that’s a sight to see if you’re there at the time.
Carlsbad became a national monument in 1923 and a national park in 1930.
The caverns are handicapped accessible. Wheelchairs are permitted on the main trail, but only to a certain point. After that, you’ll have to retrace your way back to the “lobby.”
Carlsbad Caverns is open daily, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.
You can see more pictures of Carlsbad Caverns on my Youtube slideshow.