One of some 300 plus limestone caves found in a fossil
reef, Carlsbad Caverns dates back to over 250 million
years ago in history. To preserve Carlsbad Caverns and
many other existing caves in the Guadalupe Mountains,
Carlsbad Caverns National Park was established. A long
and straight road leads to the caverns as the Guadalupe
Mountains come into view.. There are a lot of interesting
rock formations along the way to the Carlsbad Caverns
that characterize the area. Carlsbad caverns are located
roughly 103 miles from Roswell and about 300 miles drive from Albuquerque.
Taxi service and rental cars are available from the airport at Carlsbad and the area
is also served by Greyhound and TNM bus lines.
There are many things to do and see at the cave. There
are two historic districts here- Rattlesnake Springs Historic
District and the Cavern Historic District which are on
the National Register of Historic Places .There is an
interesting museum in the Carlsbad Caverns National Park
which includes the park archives and is comprised of roughly
1 million cultural resource exhibits that are protected
and preserved for generations to come.
The main feature of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park is the cavern's "Big Room" where visitors can go down 900 feet in an elevator where a short walk leads to a the main cave area. The "Big Room" at Carlsbad Caverns National Park is 250 feet wide and a whopping 1,800 feet long and this is where most of the extraordinary formations are located. This is a one mile self -guided walk that runs the perimeter of the biggest cave in the cavern and takes about an hour and a half. There are many other points of interest inside the caverns well worth taking a look at.
Visitors can opt for an audio guide which allows a greater comprehension of the cavern and its features. Walking in a circular layout a one mile route goes up one side of the cave and back along the other. Carlsbad Caverns New Mexico is so massive that one route is completely out of sight of the other. The area of the "Big Room" can be compared to that of roughly 6.2 football fields! The route through the Carlsbad Caverns New Mexico is a fairly level and well-lit area and much of the "Big Room" is accessible by wheelchair. Baby strollers are not allowed in any part of the cave for safety reasons. If you need to carry a small child a baby backpack or something similar is ideal.
The different configurations of Carlsbad Caverns New Mexico carry separate names such as Rock of Ages, Hall of the Giants and Temple of the Sun. Many smaller underground pools can be found along the route and are often illuminated offering a different and beautiful perspective to the architecture seen above. Carlsbad Cavern Tours tend to be quite busy year 'round and reservations are always highly suggested. On top of the Carlsbad Cavern tour there is an entrance fee for the ticket into the park. Carlsbad Cavern tours can be self-guided or visitors can pay for a guided tour by one of the rangers or a tour company for a more in depth look and explanation of the cavern. Guided tours take visitors on a tour ranging in difficulty and including walking coarse dirt trails, paved trails and crawling through the caves narrower passages. Tours can often be set up through hotels in the area and cities nearby. Carlsbad Caverns National Park has regular hours after Labor Day until Memorial Day weekend, 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Expanded hours from memorial Day through to Labor Day are 8am to 7pm and the last entry into the cave from the natural entrance is 3:30pm. The park is closed to visitors on December 25.