"Basaic Carlsbad Caverns National Park Page" Top 5 Page for this destination Carlsbad Caverns National Park by Basaic

Carlsbad Caverns

Carlsbad Caverns became a national park in 1930. The formation of the cavern, however, began much earlier. Approximately 250,000,000 years ago the remains of sponges, algae, and seashells created a 400-mile limestone reef in the inland sea that existed here at the time. The reef was pushed up by forces below the surface and it developed cracks. This uplift is also what formed the nearby Guadalupe Mountains. Eventually the sea evaporated and the reef was buried under many layers of gypsum and salts. Water coming down from the surface combined with water rich with Hydrogen Sulfide gas from oil and gas fields below the surface to form Sulfuric Acid. This acid formed the large chambers you see today. More recently, about 500,000 years ago, the stalactites, stalagmites, and other formations you see began to form as limestone rich water seeped through the earth and dripped into the air-filled cave.

Formations

There are a number of different types of formations in the cavern including this one which is called "lion's tails".

Walnut Canyon

There are a few pullouts on the road into the park including one that has a short paved trail leading to an overlook of Walnut Canyon.

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  • In a nutshell:Well worth a visit!!
  • Last visit to Carlsbad Caverns National Park: Feb 2010
  • Intro Updated Feb 25, 2010
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Reviews (33)

Comments (4)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    We will be visiting here in Spetember I think - thanks for all the useful info and for whetting my appetite!

  • Mar 1, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    Another very informative page. You sound like you really liked the caverns. Nice pictures to.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Wow...enjoyed a virtual pictoria tour of Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, SL :)

  • Durfun's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    Nice scientific explanation, and pics :) Thanks

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