Exploring Carlsbad Caverns was the best underground experience that I have done in my lifetime. I have gone below the Earth’s surface on many occasions from caverns to mines, and these southeastern New Mexico caverns were phenomenal. If you were to visit one cavern system only once in your lifetime, Carlsbad Caverns National Park would be the best one to experience.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was inscribed late last century in 1995.
The more than 120 limestone caves within Carlsbad Caverns National Park are outstanding and notable world-wide because of their size, mode of origin, and the abundance, diversity and beauty of the speleothems (decorative rock formations) within– UNESCO World Heritage Site
Entering into the caverns is through a large opening with a switchback, and it is well paved. If you are not able to do the full switchback into the cavern, there are elevators in the Visitor Center that will bring you down. When I approached the switchback and grand opening into the caverns I was in awe, it looked like an exciting underground adventure awaited.
I am a bit of a cave/ cavern nerd, and I enjoy the peaceful feeling of being inside them. It could be the fact that I am an Earth sign, and I enjoy anything grounding. It could also be that I am a Holistic Healer, and I find benefits in crystal and stone work. I do know for sure that I love all the rock formations, stalagmites, stalactites, and chandeliers that are found within.
Even as a child, I remember being facinated at cavern photos in school, and the teachers giving us a lesson on stalagmites vs. stalactites. I still remember how it was explained; stalagmites grow UP hoping that they MIGHT touch the ceiling, and stalactites grow down holding TIGHT to the ceiling. It was one of the few rhymes that I found useful in my later life, and I say it to myself every time I walk into a cavern.
The inside of the caverns are easily accessible with railings and paved walkways. Although it is dimly lit inside, you can bring a flashlight or a head lamp although it is not necessary. Your eyes will adjust, but I did see several people carrying lights throughout the caverns. Make sure to wear covered and comfortable shoes as well. You will be doing a lot of walking, and there are natural wet areas due to water dripping from the cavern walls.
There are many chambers to walk through with massive stalactites, pillars, and natural formations. The largest room is simply called “The Big Room”, and is a massive limestone chamber, which is almost 4,000 feet long, 624 wide and 255 wide at its highest point.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park was impressive, and still my favorite when it comes to underground experiences. I was down below for a few hours on my own, and at one point I sat on one of the benches and meditated for awhile in the Big Room. It was a wonderful feeling of stillness and peacefulness. If you meditate, I highly recommend finding a bench and quietly close your eyes. Please do not be silly, and sit on the ground to meditate because people might trip over you. Use sensibility and have a magnificent time.
For more information and entrance fees, please visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
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