November 5, 2008

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

After backpacking the White Sands, it was off to the Carlsbad, New Mexico Caverns. The two and half hour drive was well worth what I managed to see inside these caves.

Arriving At The Caverns

When I arrived at the Carlsbad Caverns, I started to wonder where they actually were. We were driving through mountains and eventually ended up on top of one of them where the visitor center is located. Believe it or not, they are located directly underneath the parking lot.

Once I entered the visitor center, I was immediately bombarded with different ticket and tour options. Some cost more than others and take you to different parts of the caverns. The guided tours that take you down into the less popular caves and make you crawl sounded like the best ones but unfortunately they were closed.

So instead, we opted for the Natural Entrance and Big Room tickets which are the basic ones that cost 6 bucks per person. Well worth the price if I say so myself. Now it’s time to enter the caverns…

The Natural Entrance

The Natural Entrance is the coolest way to walk down into the caverns. There is an elevator that takes you down from the visitor center but what fun would that be? Plus it skips some of the coolest looking parts of the hike. Check out the path heading down into the caverns:

Entrance To Cavern

When heading down into the cavern, I saw a few signs warning that the hike is very strenous. However, I consider it to be a pretty easy hike if your used to doing any exercise at all. It’s very steep however so I would encourage everyone to wear some hiking shoes.

The Big Room

This was my favorite part of the Carlsbad Caverns because it is huge inside. I remember hearing that the size of the great room is larger than 16 football fields in length. Crazy!

Check out this picture looking towards the back of the big room (look how small the people on the railing are!):

Looking Towards The Back of The Cavern

The colors in the cave were awesome to see. With your eyes, a lot of the rock looked similiar. With a camera, it was a completely different story. I had to use long exposures for all of these shots because the flash killed all the details and made the pictures look really dark.

Here is a closeup of one the the large rocks standing straight up:

Another Weird Rock

It’s hard to see how tall these are, but they were much taller than my tripod and camera stretched out as high as it went. In the picture below, you can clearly see how big the caverns are by looking at the people standing on the lookout path:

Another View Of the Path

Go Check Them Out!

This was another awesome place to go see for a very reasonable price. For less than a movie ticket, you can go see some of the craziest looking caves ever. I highly recommend checking out the Carlsbad, New Mexico Caverns if you are ever in New Mexico or live within driving distance. It only took about 8 hours to get there from Phoenix.

9 thoughts on “Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

  1. Deborah

    Great shots Justin 🙂

    I’ve been there myself, and photos cannot come close to displaying the immense expanse and stalagmites, let alone their stunning beauty. It’s one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had traveling in the US.

    I actually exited out from where you entered. I had to plug my nose due to the pungent odor from the guano (bat dung) 😉 They exit out from there around dusk daily en mass.

  2. James@Discount Codes

    Some amazing pictures. I’ve had a look through a number of posts and I’m impressed. I’ve travelled the world myself, skiing through the arctic circle to trekking through jungle and desert but it meant a lot long distance travelling. I suppose the bonus for you is that many of the location you’ve visited around the US are on your doostep (relatively speaking 🙂 )

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