Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico is a unit of the United States National Park Service. The park is essentially composed of limestone caves in a fossil reef, which were laid down by an inland sea approximately 280 million years ago. In fact, the Big Room, a natural limestone chamber, was considered the largest natural underground chamber in the world at one point in time. The scenic beauty, natural marvels and potential hikes available, continue to attract thousands of visitors to the park.
Some of the must visit caves at Carlsbad Caverns National Park include:
• Scheduled tours of the Big Cave which is different from the main tourist path.
• Ranger led tour of the Slaughter Canyon Cave or New Cave, on which the guide will point you to numerous spectacular formations.
• Tour to Backcountry Caves such as Goat Cave, Ogle Cave, Corkscrew Cave, Christmas Tree Cave among others.
As far as accessing Carlsbad Caverns is concerned, the nearest major airport with service by nearly all large airlines happens to be El Paso, Texas. After reaching El Paso, visitors can take US 62 and 180 to reach Carlsbad Caverns. Alternately, visitors can take a private vehicle from Carlsbad, via US Highways 62 and 180. The park is located at a distance of 40 km southwest of the town of Carlsbad. Thus, accessing Carlsbad Caverns for visitors is not a problem at all.
As far as the climatic conditions at Carlsbad Caverns is concerned, tourists should not go by the extreme temperatures witnessed by the town of Carlsbad, as the conditions at the park itself are slightly moderate, comparatively. It is recommended that tourists avoid the summers, when planning a visit to the park. Winters in the park are pleasant, with temperatures in the range of 15 to 18 degrees C. There can be occasional snow during winters, but that further adds up to the charm of the park.
Important Information About Carlsbad Caverns
• Summer Timings (Applicable from May 23, 2014 – September 1, 2014)-Tickets are available from 8 am in the morning. The last cavern entry via natural entrance is at 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. via elevator. Winter Timings
(Applicable from September 3, 2013 – May 22, 2014)- The last cavern entry via natural entrance is at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. via elevator.
• Entry Fee: Children below five are not chargeable. The price for children aged 6 to 15 is $ 3.00 whereas for those above 16, the admission price is $ 6.00.
Tips About Carlsbad Caverns
• Visitors should note that there is no lodging available within Carlsbad Caverns National Park. So, they should plan their trip accordingly.
• Carlsbad Caverns National Park remains closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
• Pets are not allowed in the cavern. However, they can be kept in the kennel at the visitor center.
• Wear low-heeled, non-skid shoes for walking. Also, use handrails wherever available.
• Visitors are strictly advised to stay on trails as there are steep drop offs prone to injuries, beyond the trails.
So put on your best foot forward to explore the Carlsbad Caverns National Park !