Carlsbad Caverns Natl Pk



In the southeastern corner of the state, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is one of the most impressive series of limestone caves in the world. Carlsbad is a three-level cavern that contains the largest known underground room in the world (300 ft/92 m high by 1,500 ft/458 m long by 300 ft/92 m wide). The immense, cathedral-like chamber is an extraordinary sight. Visitors should allow most of the day to see the caverns. The Natural Entrance Tour and the Big Room Tour can be taken without a guide. There are lots of guided tours available, as well, some of them strenuous. Strollers are not allowed, and pets must be placed in a kennel.

Visitors should take a long-sleeved shirt or sweater (the temperature is 56 F/13 C year-round in the caverns) and wear rubber-soled shoes, as the walkways may be slippery and damp. There is an underground lunchroom (sandwiches and soft drinks), but some prefer to take their own food. During the summer, there is a daily emergence of hundreds of thousands of Mexican freetail bats at twilight. (It's popular, so visitors should arrive early to get a seat.) The park also hosts a weekend predawn Bat Flight Breakfast in July.

The park is open daily except; hours vary by season. The entrance fee is US$10 adults for a three-day pass. Phone 575-785-2232.

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