There are bigger caves and caverns in the United States, but none get quite as much attention as Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. In my quest to hike the 59 National Parks in the country, a few underground wonders on the list make it just a little easier.
A day at Carlsbad is enough to say it’s “hiked.” I planned to spend a second day doing a few ranger led hikes, but I kind of screwed up and didn’t book in time! Just the same, seeing the Big Room was pretty special.
Carlsbad is 755 feet below the surface, and it’s always 56 degrees in the cavern. There’s two ways down: either a very speedy elevator, or walking through the natural entrance and down a very steep trail:
The walk takes a good hour or more, and even though the sights on the way down don’t quite compare to the Big Room, the destination, it’s still worth it to hit that trail, unless you’re physically unable to do it.
As expected, taking pictures was pretty difficult because it was so dark. Interestingly, flash photography was allowed. Somewhere along the way someone must have figured out that the flash doesn’t actually hurt the cavern formations. But what does? Humans. Yes, darn humans are the worst enemies. Where have we heard that before?
I shoot with both a Cannon digital 35mm and my cell phone. This is one place that I can say by cell took better pictures!
I was actually in Carlsbad Caverns several years ago. As one of the rangers quipped, “It hasn’t changed much!” But it was great to see it again after so many years