"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Amazing Carlsbad Caverns

Driving through El Paso can be trying at best for us. This time, the 395 bypass was open and we flew right by along the north of the town. We arrived a day earlier than we had reservations in Carlsbad but they put us in a tent area with water for the night. Saturday on Spring Break takes some planning.
The Natural Entrance route is a self-guided tour available to visitors with plenty of time. This 1.25-mile tour follows the traditional explorer’s route, entering the cavern through the large historic natural entrance. The Natural Entrance route descends more than 750 feet into the earth following steep and narrow trails.
We opted for the audio tour and enjoyed the stories as we passed though the cave. It seemed that the decent would never end. The story of the cave's discovery was when Jim White saw what he thought was smoke from the side of the mountain. When he climbed up closer, he realized it was bats coming from the cave. That's a lot of Mexican bats.
Carlsbad Caverns is a place we have wanted to visit for quite a while but never seemed to be on our way. This time we made more of an effort and were glad we did.

Fortunately, the elevators were working. After several hours in the cave, I preferred the easy way our instead of the hike back up unlike Raven and Chickadee who toured the cave when the elevator was down for maintenance.

 The land that forms Carlsbad Caverns was once part of an ancient underwater reef called Capitan Reef. Marine fossils have been found in the rock.
  In the 1880s, people didn’t go into the caves to admire them. Instead, they were there to mine for bat poop! Apparently, guano is a powerful fertilizer.
 Before 1925, guests who visited the park were lowered into the caves in a big guano bucket.

It was difficult getting good pictures but it was quite a sight.


This ladder was used by the National Geographic team that originally explored the cave. I hope it was in better shape then.

The basic tour through the Cavern was one-mile through the largest room in the cave, the Big Room. Taking approximately 1.5 hours, this circular route passes many large and famous features including Bottomless Pit, Giant Dome, Rock of Ages, and Painted Grotto. It was more beautiful around each corner.

This was a very good stop for us. On to Texas...


  1. Our favorite cavern of all time. It is just lovely. Your photos show so much of the beauty, but one just has to be there to take it all in.

  2. I hope to make it to Carlsbad at some point.

    1. It was amazing and a must do but out of the way from anywhere.

  3. You got so many great photos of the cave! It really is spectacular and we're glad we did it—even with having to hike out because the elevators weren't working. :-)) Just think, it could have been worse—can you imagine being lowered into the cave in guano buckets??

    1. The guano or wondering if they would drop you would make a person think twice about the trip down.