“Lets go on a road trip!” My friends and I excitedly planned out what to do for our road trip. When researching what to do in New Mexico, I came across with Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The reviews and photos on Tripadvisor and Google already convinced me enough to grab this opportunity with my friends, especially since it would be our very first cave experience. Without hesitation, my friends were down for this experience.
When we arrived at 8 in the morning, we came across with one employee who knew American Sign Language (ASL). We were happy to know that at least one of the staff know ASL. We informed them that we are all Deaf. Fortunately, we didn’t had to pay for the admission fee when many of us apply for America the Beautiful disabled pass that look like this:
For those who have disability, you can get this pass for free at any national park that will accept America the Beautiful. America the Beautiful also have the Annual Pass, Senior Pass, Military Pass and Volunteer pass that will give you either grant you free or discounted admission to national parks.
At this national park, you can either enter the cave naturally or take an elevator, depending what suits best for you. We took the natural entrance:
As you can see the photos above, this is the natural entrance. Prepare for about 2 hours walk; It’s important to bring water bottle and snacks to keep yourself hydrated. It will be a little chilly and you’ll smell something odd, although you may get used to it as you hike down. The hike down can be a little tough; you’ll be speeding down due to little steeps.
Throughout your journey, you’ll see what lies underneath the land. Beyond the entrance, you’ll find its beauty and learned the history how it was formed and changed throughout the years.
We did self-guided tour since they didn’t provide interpreters for the tour and we wanted to walk at our own pace. Self-guided does not required reservation. If you want a ranger to guide you for a tour then, you can make a reservation through this number 1-877-444-6777 or go to www.recreation.gov.
If you are planning a road trip or be nearby, I personally recommend going to this cave. If you love bats, you perhaps will see it! We didn’t get a chance to see it. According to their website, the best bat flights normally occur in July and August. If you want to see that, a program, called Bat Flight Program, is given at the outdoor amphitheater among with a park ranger.
I highly recommended to bring a tripod if you want to capture it amazingly. I didn’t used my tripod, which was one of my mistakes. If you want to avoid blurriness, do use a tripod. I also highly recommend to research and practice what settings to use prior your adventure here. Additionally, bring a range of 55-200MM len to capture a closer look of its beauty.
$10 adult (16 and over)
FREE for children (15 and under)
Admission ticket is good for three solid days.
**When using America the Beautiful access pass, they will allow to admit the cardholer plus three adults for free.
Free Admission Days 2015:
All self-guided tours are FREE on the following dates:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday – January 19
Presidents Day Weekend – February 14-16
National Park’s Week Opening Weekend – April 18-19
99th Birthday of National Park Service – August 25
National Public Lands Day – September 26
Veterans Day – November 11
Visitor Center: 8am – 5pm (hours change depending on the season)
Last hike in naturally: 2pm
Last hike out closes: 2:30pm
Last elevator into: 3:30pm
Last elevator out: 4:30pm
Only allowed in the backcountry (about half a mile away) and requires a FREE permit which is issud at the park’s visitor center when you arrive – you may not need to reserve it in advance.
Be sure to check out their website for more information! Always watch out for their alerts regarding about weather, construction, etc. Don’t forget to pack snacks and water bottles for about two hours walk if you take the natural entrance.
What cave have you been to, or what cave do you personally recommend us to visit?