The World Beneath: Carlsbad Caverns National Park

“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:

2012Access

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:

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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.

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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.

Photography tips:

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.

Admission fee:

$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

Hours:

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

Camping:

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?

This Post Has 39 Comments

  1. I think I would have walked down the caverns by the natural route too and skip the elevator. I bet you saw a lot more by doing it that way. What beautiful photos! It makes me want to take a trip there one of these days.
    Kim recently posted…Paris is for Love or the Random Proposal By a StrangerMy Profile

    1. Thank you! 🙂 It was absoutely a lot more comparing to taking the elevator. Thank you for reading!

    1. It was really interesting! 🙂

    1. Thank you for your kind words!

  2. What an amazing road in! Great photos and list of free entry days is helpful for bigger families 🙂

    1. Thank you! That’s true! Free entry days are huge plus 😉

  3. Wow this Carlsbad Caverns National Park looks amazing. I love to explore such type of caves, and these ones seem to be great. I am sure I’ll be there someday and for sure I’ll come back to your website to get your trips and advice. Thanks!
    João Leitão recently posted…Nomads of Kazakhstan – Ile Alatau RangeMy Profile

    1. Since you love exploring different caves, you’ll like this one. It’s fascinating there.

      Thank you for reading! (:

    1. You’re welcome!

      Thank you for reading! (:

    1. Thank you! (:

    1. It will be worth the visit! (:

  4. Wow, this place looks insanely gorgeous! What an adventure it would be exploring the park, I’m quite envious! 😉 I couldn’t imagine missing out on walking through the cavern and taking the elevator! :O Thanks for sharing this beautiful place!
    Dawn Kealing recently posted…Danger, should you let it hold you back? PART 1My Profile

    1. You’re welcome! We just had to take the natural entrance to see it all 🙂

      Thank you so much for reading our post!

    1. I’m sure you will visit it one day again!

      This is our first cave experience! If you have any recommendation, we’ll love that! (:

  5. What a cool place to visit, and so good you were able to locate a staff member who could sign. That must have added greatly to your experience of the visit. The best caves I’ve ever visited are the Waitomo caves in New Zealand – they are glow worm caves, that looks just like a night sky. Absolutely stunning
    Jo recently posted…How to choose a hotel frugal first class travel styleMy Profile

    1. Omg, yes! The Waitomo caves in New Zealand! It’s one of the tops from our list. It must be absolutely beautiful.

  6. What an awesome place to visit! The natural entrance and the caves look stunning and I would so prefer self guided tour then be taken around in a group. Good to k ow which days are free as well even though it’s not expensive at all! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    samiya selim recently posted…Shama’s Art Inspired by Outdoors and Nature TravelsMy Profile

    1. We agree, we also prefer self-guided tour to go at our own pace too! You’re welcome! 🙂

  7. Caves are so intriguing, like a whole other world underneath the surface. Your photos are great and this looks like a fantastic place to visit. Thanks for sharing
    Kate recently posted…La Sagrada Familia, BarcelonaMy Profile

    1. Thank you! You’re right! It’s like a whole other world 🙂

    1. It’s a new world! So, it was really cool. You’ll like it if you visit there! 🙂

    1. You will not regret this stop for Carlsbad Caverns! 🙂

  8. Oh wow, I have done loads of traveling around the US but never made it to Carlsbad. It looks amazing, no wonder why so many people visit every year! Thanks for reminding me that I need to get there next time I am on the mainland.

    1. If you love caves, it will be worth the visit! 🙂 Have you seen any other caves when you were traveling around the US?

    1. You’re welcome! 🙂 We also love states and national Parks – there are so many beautiful scenery that we all should try check it out in our life 🙂

    1. It’s more beautiful in person! You and your husband will like it! 🙂

  9. This looks like an amazing place. Definitely adding it to my list. Fantastic write up and pics!

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