Following several days near Las Cruces, New Mexico we started our trek towards Texas and decided to end New Mexico travel by a repeat visit to Carlsbad Caverns. We camped nearby on BLM land. See our campsite post HERE.
This is one of our favorite parks and it was even better during off season. No crowds means there’s a quietness in the caverns that you don’t get to experience otherwise.
The drive up is a short climb through desert hills and in December the desert has icicles. In the cold temps, icicles formed along a weeping wall where there is normally a steady stream of natural water running through the rock and down into the canyons.
The Natural Entrance
There are 75 floors to go from the top of the entrance to the floor of the first room. This trip we were more prepared with our own flashlights. Although there’s great lighting throughout the cavern it is even better being able to scan the dark areas and see even more.
The caves were formed millions of years ago by sulfuric acid dissolving limestone within the Guadalupe Mountains. The speleothems are due to rain and snowmelt soaking through the limestone. Stalactites, soda straws, draperies all decorate the caverns from the ceiling. From the floor are the rim stone dams, lily pads, cave pools and stalagmites.
Although the pictures show the geological features they can not convey how vast and grand these caverns are.
In the summer months you can observe the bats nighttime flight from the caverns. We were too late this trip as they’d already migrated. Just another reason to return yet again.
Where to Next?
After these 2 days, we continued to head into Texas and more south with the goal of reaching Padre Island beach area. You can see our camping site posts for Wildcat Recreation Area clicking Here.