I had never even heard of a cavern until moving out to Texas (weird right?), so we planned a trip to see Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico soon after moving to Lubbock. I only included a one picture of the inside of the caverns. I found it difficult to capture and, honestly, it’s one of those things you need to see to believe. I could hardly scoop my jaw off of the floor long enough to take more than three dark photos.
We went to Carlsbad Caverns on a Saturday for the whole day with friends. It was busy, but not too crowded. The weather in August was warm, but as you travel into the cavern it gets cooler.
Read up before you go, because the history behind the discovery of Carlsbad Caverns is a pretty interesting story.
The beginning of the cavern is nothing special…….until you get up close. It just looks like a small hole in the side of a hill. Then you start traveling down a series of serious switchbacks deeper and deeper into the earth. It get’s darker and darker as go.
The whole path is paved and you can wear tennis shoes and regular clothes and be just fine.
There are two main areas to explore: the entrance and the Big Room. To get down to the Big Room you can hike/walk or take the elevator.
We hiked down, saw the Big Room, and hiked back up. If you thought you were in good shape, forget it! Just count this as a week’s worth of workouts. If you are going with your family, consider taking the elevator down and walking around with your stroller. We hiked down using our baby carrier (Fern was very light at the time and we took turns).
Nate and I both love hiking mountains so we weren’t sure how we’d feel about traveling into the earth. It was amazing! It was just hard to wrap our brains around how HUGE it is in the cavern. I also thought it would be getting warmer and warmer as we headed toward that ball of lava, that is the center of the earth, but it grew cooler instead.
All in all, it was a super neat place to visit.
4 Quick Tips For Visiting Carlsbad Caverns
- Bring a light jacket. I think the temps dropped into the 50s.
- Bring your own food and water. You can buy it in the Big Room, but it’s crazy expensive.
- Combine this adventure with others in the area. As amazing as Carlsbad Caverns is, it can be seen in one day.
- Camp. There are hotels near by, but the camping is cheap or free and cuts costs.
- Bring diaper and wipes. Blowouts WILL happen….
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