Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, United States comprises of one of the oldest cave systems in the world. It is an excellent place for back-country camping, hiking, stargazing and wild life observation. The park is visited by more than 300,000 people every year.
Main Attractions at Carlsbad Caverns National Park
The National Park is located in the Guadalupe Mountains. Big Room is the key attraction of the park. It can be accessible by an elevator or through a short trail. It is the biggest cavern in the park featuring 3,800 feet length and 600 feet width. It has some of the most colorful and largest rock formations. The lower cave boasts of some excellent formations. Left Hand Tunnel is famous for its fossils and cave pools. The Hall of the White Giant is yet another important attraction that is renowned for its massive white stalagmite. Rangers lead wild cave tours to this room.
Kings Palace in Carlsbad Caverns National Park is known for its beautiful rooms. It takes 1.5 hours to view all the four decorated scenic chambers in Kings Palace. You need to descend to reach the deepest portion of the cavern and then climb an eight story hill. The cave decorations include draperies, soda straws, columns and helectites.
Slaughter Canyon Cave or New cave in the Park can be reached with the help of a ranger. The ranger led tour will take you into an underground wilderness. You can see an 89 foot Monarch here, which is one of the tallest columns in the world. The luminous Christmas tree column decorates with crystals and a Chinese wall are some other highlights.
Carlsbad Caverns Park supports diverse ecosystem. It is home to Rattlesnake Springs that has permanent flowing water.
The park is home to an array of wildlife, which includes amphibians, mammals, birds, fish and insects. You can spot spade foot toads, cricket frog, non Native American bullfrog and Rio Grande leopard frog. Chihuahuan desert pocket mouse, mule deer, ground squirrels, cougar, kangaroo rats and ringtails can also be found here. Rattlesnake Springs is the best place for bird watching.
How to get to Carlsbad Caverns National Park
The National Park is about 25 miles away from the Carlsbad town. You can reach the park via US Highways 62 and 180. El Paso, Texas is the nearest major airport to the park.
You can find a snack bar in the visitor center in the park. The Big Cave has a lunchroom that serves cafeteria style munchies.