Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Posted in North America | March 30, 2010 | Comment Now

Guadalupe Mountains line the Texas-New Mexico border. The peaks rise to heights of more than 8000 feet. This is in stark contrast to the surrounding desert land. The mountains have two national parks within their range: Guadalupe and Carlsbad Caverns. Guadalupe has rocky peaks and scenic valleys all around. Varied wildlife resides here. Carlsbad Caverns is one of the oldest cave systems present in the world. Its fame has spread every nook and corner of the planet.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a full-day drive from the major attractions of the South West. The journey is worth the effort as the park has many underground chambers, which are 250 feet deep. These chambers have awesome formations of many colors and shapes.

Long roads are a common feature of the Southwest regions. The route US 62/180 leads to the caverns. It also links Carlsbad with El Paso. The western stretches of Texas are home to more than 100 miles of salt flats, sandy wasteland, and prairies. After these, the Guadalupe Mountains come into view. A number of souvenir shops and lodgings are present on the turn to the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. This region is also known as Whites City. From this point, a narrow, winding road stretches for seven miles passing through a limestone canyon. This area has wonderful rock scenery and plenty of Chihuahuan desert plants such as agave and opuntia cacti.

The entrance to the park lies on the plateau at the top of the canyon. This place is home to a huge visitor complex. There are abundant parking facilities and service roads. The entry fee to the caves is $6 per person. This park is not covered by the National Park Golden Eagle Pass.

Among the other attractions are the Walnut Canyon Scenic Drive, which passes through the nearby desert, and a nature trail that stretches for one mile. The scenic views are similar to those of the cave. However, all individuals visit the park for the underground trips. The end of the nature trail passes a shaft and leads past the entrance to the cave. This makes it unnecessary to make a payment for entrance.

The Big Room Tour, which is a walking tour, is one of the ways to explore the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

In this tour, travelers descend nearly 900 feet through an elevator that commences from within the visitor center. The visitors are greeted by a resting area and lunch room. However, a short walk leads to the primary cave area, also known as ‘The Big Room’. This area is 1800 feet long and 250 feet wide. It is home to some of the most brilliant formations. The formations have grand names such as Temple of the Sun, Hall of the Giants, and Rock of Ages. The area is well lit with electric lights having gentle colors.

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