We arrived at Carlsbad Caverns with plenty of time to get our tickets and meet our group. Problem was we found out when we got there that the elevators into the caverns (that the tour groups use) were out of order. The rangers told us we needed to meet our guides in the cave at the bottom of the natural cave entrance- a 1.25 mile and 750 foot descent into the cave. They say to allow 45 minutes for this hike, and we only had 15 minutes till tour start time. So we did the only logical thing, we ran down this trail below to make it on time!
Thank goodness we made it on time to see all this!
After running down and getting sweaty, we were very cold on this slow moving tour in a cold damp cave!
We saw so many neat cave formations (speleothems) in this amazing cave.
The inner cave nerd in me was very excited to be there.
Don’t these look like lions tails?
There was even a small lake in the cave, and it was very clear.
But craziest of all to me was the restaurant, bathrooms, and gift shop at the bottom. I guess this cave really is big enough to have all of that.
Carlsbad Caverns was the largest cave we had been in so far in terms of the height of the rooms. It was definitely one of our favorite caves so far!
On the way out we took our time and did not have to run out, thank goodness because it is pretty steep!
Later that day we would be headed to Guadalupe Mountains National Park, for our next state high point attempt!