Where Is Carlsbad Caverns National Park Located
Summer hours are slightly longer. Once a year, a bat flight breakfast is held where visitors can eat breakfast at the park prior to the morning return of bats. The Bottomless Pit was originally said to have no bottom.
Beauty and Wonder; Above and Below
American Indians and early settlers knew about them, but aside from guano harvesting, the caves garnered little interest until a year-old ranch hand dared to venture deeper into their depths. The wildly decorated caverns astonished local tourists, and before long attracted the interest of government officials. Carlsbad Caverns would be declared a national monument inand a national park seven years later.
Since then, millions of people have descended deep into the underground labyrinth, a complex natural maze where new discoveries are still being made. Fortunately, visitors these days can either walk down the natural entrance, or take an elevator into the heart of the cavern. Ranger-led and self-guided tours of the caverns are available. The easiest guided tour is of Left Hand Tunnel, where a mild, unpaved walk by lantern light leads visitors past a plethora of cave pools and rock formations to ancient, Permian-era fossils.
Visitors must pay an entry fee for self-guided tours, which are good for three days. Backcountry Caving Adventurous types might enjoy exploring the wild backcountry caves in Carlsbad Caverns. These underground sojourns require the use of vertical caving equipment, which each spelunker must provide and know how to use. In addition to vertical drops, some routes require cavers to squeeze through some very tight spots.
Age restrictions apply: one must be 16 years old to participate in backcountry caving, and 18 to lead an expedition. Ogle, Lake and Goat caves are all currently closed for bat protection.
In recent years, a little-understood fungal infection known as White Nose Syndrome has wiped out bat populations across North America. Cave closures are part of measures being taken by the National Park Service to halt the spread of the lethal disease. These free, ranger-led events take place on evenings at sunset from Memorial Day through mid-October. Peak times for outflights are in July and August, when baby bats born in early summer and bats migrating colonies from northern locations join the display.
An estimatedbats call the caves home during this time. Early risers are also welcome to come watch the bats fly back into the cave at dawn. Star Parties Because of its remote location away from the disruptive pollution of city lights, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is an ideal place to view the night sky, either with a telescope or the naked eye.
To encourage visitors to come check out the cosmos, the park hosts a program of Star Parties on select dates during the summer and autumn, weather permitting. Telescopes are provided to aid guests in their exploration during peak periods of celestial activity, like the Perseid Meteor Shower. Guests can participate in ranger-led talks about folklore, nocturnal creatures and astronomy.
The program Glacier National Park To Great Falls Mt free and does not require advanced reservations, but neither the caves nor the visitor center are open during the events. Summer hours are slightly longer. Children age 15 and younger enter free.
There is no lodging at Carlsbad Caverns, nor is RV or auto camping allowed. The only camping that is permitted in the park is in the backcountry. Entrance to the backcountry requires visitors to pick up a free backcountry pass at the visitor center. Camping in the wilderness must be done in accordance with applicable park regulations. Underground globes of rock populate the Lake of the Clouds, the lowest known point in Carlsbad Caverns.
It is one of the few places in North America where this kind of ecosystem is protected. The wilderness is open for use by the public for hikes and backcountry camping.
The above-ground areas of the park are…
Alerts In Effect
Scientists are currently researching the potential health benefits to humans of certain rock-eating microbes that live in the cave. The easiest guided tour is of Left Hand Tunnel, where a mild, unpaved walk by lantern light leads visitors past a plethora of cave pools and rock formations to ancient, Permian-era fossils. The caves and surrounding lands were declared a national park in Carlsbad Caverns would be declared a national monument in , and a national park seven years later.