Carlsbad Caverns National Park
This is one of the oldest and very famous cave systems in the world. There are around 120 known caves in the park, and the number keeps growing as cave exploration continues. The caves are well-known for a large number of stalactites and stalagmites. Stalactites is a pyramidal structure, like an icicle hanging from the roof of a cave formed of minerals deposited by dripping water. Stalagmites are mounds growing from the floor of a cave formed of minerals deposited by dripping water and very often uniting with a stalactite.
Timing: May – Sep.: 8 AM- 7 PM, Oct. – Apr.: 8 AM – 5 PM, Last entrance ticket sold: 2 hours before the park closing time.
Closed: Christmas Day
There are essentially two trails, the Big Room & Natural Entrance. I would recommend the Big Room trail as it’s relatively easy, and you cover significant parts of the cave.
Big Room Trail: The most popular trail, it is the largest single cave chamber by volume in North America. This trail is 1.25 miles, relatively easy, and takes about 1.5 hours. There is even a shortcut, if you want to shorten your walk, it’s about 0.6 miles and takes about 45 minutes.
Natural Entrance Trail: This is 1.25 mile long, extremely steep, and strenuous, takes about 1 hour to complete.
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