"A Great Big Hole in the Earth" Carlsbad Caverns National Park by mrclay2000

Carlsbad Caverns is one of those gloomy national parks in the southwest quadrant of the United States. Above ground the terrain looks no more inviting that the dusty confines of either Guadalupe Mountains NP or Big Bend, and underground the scenery is also less than spectacular.

Like other national parks, the visitor center is the place to start, but hopefully you will learn from locals that the best way to enter the caverns is through the same natural amphitheater where the bats emerge during the summer. "You miss a lot" if you take the elevator, said one man to me, and if you don't get to the caverns before 2:00 or 2:30, you won't have any choice but the elevator. Take it from me -- you'll need every good tip to make this gloomy place an exciting visit.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Easy to tour, strange natural formations and illusions
  • Cons:Cold, gloomy, dark, wet, colorless -- almost joyless
  • In a nutshell:What Caverns Are All About, Whatever That May Be!
  • Last visit to Carlsbad Caverns National Park: May 1995
  • Intro Updated Jan 13, 2003
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Reviews (8)

Comments (7)

  • BerniShand's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2004 at 1:32 AM

    the trouble with caverns is that they are all much the same, you could be anywhere in the world when you are underground. Even so, this was a very interesting page, thanks

  • tpangelinan's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2003 at 1:05 PM

    Very nice page! Never heard of this place but looks pretty cool, we have the Laray caverns around here, very similer!

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Jun 12, 2003 at 11:39 AM

    By entering from the mouth, the cave is more interesting, IMHO. The view of the mountains from the Visiotr Center south towards Guadelupe is impressive too. You really get a great feeling for the ancient reef formations of bygone ages.

  • herzog63's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2003 at 11:02 PM

    I remember reading about these as a kid and really wanting to go. I passed through the area in the mid 80's with 2 other guys and I was out voted!! Still haven't seen'em!! It still sounds interesting to me.

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2003 at 8:08 AM

    I've never been much of an underground guy either.

  • asturnut's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2003 at 8:43 AM

    I guess spelunking is not your thing. Interesting perspective.

  • annk's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2003 at 6:16 PM

    Too bad you didn't enjoy the caverns. I thought they were well worth the visit.


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