September 30, 2015
Carlsbad Caverns–New Mexico
A bit of a detour, but well worth it. An easy drive up to Whites City RV Park for the night just 7 miles from Carlsbad Caverns.
We entered the caverns via the natural entrance used by the bats and yes it smells like the bats use it, but it’s not over the top strong. There is the option of taking an elevator, don't let the 1 mile 800 foot drop discourage you.
Taking pictures within the cavern is a bit difficult as any camera stand is not permitted. The trails are narrow and a tripod would block traffic, or could damage the delicate formations. But holding a camera steady for a low light photo is not easy….
The natural entrance is steep! Up to a 20% grade over an 800 foot drop. However, it intersects with the Big Room trails which is relatively level. It is here where the stalactites and stalagmites meet.
And the Big Room is big, 4 football fields across. There are different sections within the Big Room, which the self guided trail will lead you through.
Note the water ... this formation is one of the few still active.
Although there is an option to return to the surface via the Natural Entrance, there is also an option to take the elevator. We took the elevator, making this an all downhill hike!
Continuing west …