We made a last-minute pit stop, after leaving our hotel to continue our road trip, at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It would have been amazing to take the entire day and hike the trails, but my husband was a party pooper and said no, just the cave.
I assumed we would take the elevators into the cave, but to my surprise my husband opted to enter through the natural entrance (probably to make up for not allowing me to spend the entire day there hiking).
The one thing that I really loved about Carlsbad Caverns is the fact that you can do a self guided tour or a guided tour. I prefer the self guided ones and that is what we chose to do. I always feel that with guided ones you are being rushed; and lets face it, I can stand in one spot for long periods of time just taking pictures.
Speaking of taking pictures, guess who left her flash in the truck? Yep this girl right here; so let me apologize up front for the not so perfect and less than spectacular photos!
It was a short walk to the Natural Entrance. On the way, we saw these buildings. I have no idea what they are, but thought they looked pretty neat!
Once there I finally understood what they meant by a steep grade. The natural entrance is 1.25 miles long and follows the traditional explorers route. It descends more than 750 feet down into the ground at a pretty steep grade.
Once we made it through the entrance we continued to the “Big Room” and walked another 1.25 along that trail which was flat and easy. Usually I am chilly when I am in the caves but due to the difficulty of the hike down into the cave, I was sweating by the time we were into the “Big Room”. Which was fine by me, considering I forgot to grab a hoodie.
The following formation happens to be my husband’s favorite one (geeze, I wonder why).
Can you spot the face in the picture below? Leave a comment if you are able to find it!
We took the elevators back up and made a pit stop at the gift shop and café to eat lunch before heading back on the road.
I would definitely love to go back and explore the trails outside of the caves one day as well as go back in the caves with my flash for better pictures!