Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a United States National Park in southeastern New Mexico. The primary feature of the park is the show cave, Carlsbad Cavern. National Park is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Park headquarters and the visitor center are located above the caverns.
The park offers several different ways to experience the caverns. The easiest way is by taking the Natural Entrance Tour, a guided walking tour that covers about a mile of the cave and descends 750 feet (230 m). The Big Room Tour covers about the same length but does not go as deep. For those who are more adventurous, the Ranger-led King's Palace Tour covers 3⁄4mi (1.2 km) and descends to a depth of 800 feet (240 m). The ranger-led tours are the only way to see some of the cave's more remote and delicate areas.
The caverns are also home to a wide variety of animals, including bats, spiders, cave crickets, and other invertebrates. Carlsbad Caverns is home to 17 species of bats, all of which are protected. The most common species is the Mexican free-tailed bat, which inhabits the cave in large numbers.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park was established on October 25, 1923, as a unit of the National Park Service. The park is located in the Chihuahuan Desert of south-central New Mexico. The park is the seventh-largest national park in the United States and the largest in New Mexico. The park covers 46,766 acres (18,925 hectars) of land.
The caverns themselves are located beneath the Guadalupe Mountains, a mountain range located in west Texas and southern New Mexico. The range includes eight of the nine tallest peaks in Texas. The Guadalupe Mountains are an ancient mountain range that began to form about 280 million years ago. The range is still growing today at a rate of about 1 inch (2.5 cm) per year.
The park includes two deserts: the Chihuahuan Desert and the Great Basin Desert. The Chihuahuan Desert is the larger of the two and covers much of the park. The Great Basin Desert is located in the western part of the park and is characterized by its dry, cold winters and hot, dry summers.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is home to a variety of plants and animals. The park is home to more than 400 species of plants, including cacti, yucca, and mesquite. The park is also home to a variety of animals, including bats, spiders, snakes, lizards, and birds.
Photos of Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Stalagmites in Carlsbad Caverns National Park (Unsplash.com)
The winding road to the entrance to Carlsbad Caverns (Wikimedia.org)
A view of the entrance to the Carlsbad Caverns (Unsplash.com)
Photo of the inside of the cave in Carlsbad Caverns National Park (Wikimedia.org)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Where is Carlsbad Caverns located?
The park is located in southeastern New Mexico, about 30 miles southwest of the city of Carlsbad.
How deep is Carlsbad Caverns?
The main cavern of Carlsbad Caverns is approximately 1,800 feet (550 meters) deep.
When those caverns were discovered?
In the late 1800s, a teenager named Jim White discovered Carlsbad Caverns. He was exploring the area with some friends when they came across a small hole in the ground. They climbed down into the hole and found themselves in a large cavern.
What to do at Carlsbad Caverns National Park?
There are a number of different things that you can do at the park. You can explore the caves, hike through the park, or take a scenic drive.