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Why You should Experience Carlsbad Caverns National Park Now

Carlsbad Caverns National park was founded in May of 1930, centered around the famous Carlsbad cavern. The park is also home to several other prominent caverns as well as a number of scenic mountain vistas and  canyonland hiking trails in the surrounding area.

My Experiences at Carlsbad Caverns NP

Carlsbad caverns national park is a park that holds a special place for me as it is the first national park that I ever visited. Because of this I’m not going to filter any of my nostalgia on this post.

My nostalgia

About twenty years ago as a young child I visited Carlsbad Caverns for the first time on a trip with my grandparents to New Mexico. I remember finding and listening to every single one of the points of interest with those little handheld playback machines you can barely hear anything from. I remember believing that the bottomless pit was actually bottomless, and how some of the stalagmites in the big room reminded me of the Godzilla eggs in Madison Square Garden from the 1998 Godzilla movie.

 

Since my first time as a child, I have visited this national park on at least four more occasions and will likely visit again and revamp this article once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and the guided tours and tours of other caves in the park resume. That Said the experience at Carlsbad caverns even amid covid restrictions is still quite good. The increased restrictions lead to much smaller crowds at this park than normal which is something that I personally find to be quite positive. The cave is very large and there are many areas that allow faster groups and individuals to pass by others, so you should rarely feel crowded unless near key formations within the cavern.

Underground Lunchroom

When I last visited the caverns in May of 2021 the underground lunchroom was unfortunately closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. If you are making the cavern a full day experience you should definitely bring  a snack or small footprint lunch if you do not plan to go back to the surface Via the elevator to eat. 

The Nature Entrance trail

Getting down to the big room is a hike just over 1.25 miles long one way with an extremely steep incline losing over 750 feet of elevation in total. This downhill segment of the cave can be quite taxing if not conditioned to hiking at a constant downhill incline and i would recommend taking opprotunitys to sit down and rest for a few minutes at some of the provided rest stops along the way. Please Also be aware there are very few stop points in the last quarter mile or so of the downhill section.

It is advised that visitors with heart conditions, respiratory issues, or poor conditioning take this route down at their own risk and it is recommended that if they do take the nature entrance trail that they rest frequently at any of the designated rest stops on the trail. The majority of Visitors who take this route take the elevator up from the lunchroom however, the hike is very doable if you are in good physical shape.

The Big Room Trail

Found at the end of the Nature entrance trail is another 1.25 miles long trail on much more level terrain and is far less strenuous to hikers. Nearly the entire trail takes place in what is known as the Big Room, this chamber is the largest cave chamber discovered in North America.  it is so Large that you could fit more than 40 football fields inside of it. This Colossal room is also tall enough to fit a twenty-story building with extra headspace.   And The distance between the top of the room and the bottom of the bottomless pit could comfortably fit the entire statue of liberty. Needless to say, the big room is a sight everyone should get to see at least once.

Ranger Guided Tours

Unfortunately guided tours are still suspended indefinitely due to Covid-19 so until they are re-opened I am going to refrain from speaking too much on them, however, based on the ones I have done in the past, they are definitely worth the extra hiking and the small fee for the ranger guides.

Other Things to do at Carlsbad Caverns NP

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