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Carlsbad Caverns National Park – New Mexico

Posted by on January 5, 2012


The last of the Aliens!

Sparse vegetation due to fires.









We left Roswell and went to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. We’d heard it was worth a look and if we went at the right time, we may see thousands of bats flying out of the natural entrance to the cavern. Unfortunately, we wanted to get to Dallas, so knew we would probably miss this spectacle.

Reading about the natural plant medicines.

We found some cave formations with their own water hole.







Native Indians used to live here.

The kids enjoying the shelter.







But the Cavern was well worth the visit. We stopped first outside the area and had a wander around all of the vegetation that had been burnt by fires. Then we arrived at the Cavern and descended the cavern via an escalator.

Going down, down, down....

...into the Carlsbad Cavern.







We were given our own self guided electronic device which had pre-recorded messages at specific stops along the way. It was a great way to explore the Carlsbad Cavern as you could go at your own pace and time. We had to keep our voices very low as the sound travelled for miles inside the Cavern.

Stalagmites and stalagtites.

Looking at the formations.







There were certain areas to the Cavern and the main one was the Big Room (and it was certainly that!)


...or cave decorations.

Walkway through.










I thought you may be interested to know how this grand Cavern was formed over the years, so here is a brief rundown.

250 million years ago marine plants and animals built a limestone reef along the edge of an inland sea.

60 million years ago hydrogen sulfide gas (from deep oil and gas deposits) and water formed sulphuric acid which dissolved cavities with the limestone.

3 million years ago as more limestone dissolved, cavities enlarged. Water slowly drained from the cavern. Roof sections collapsed.In recent times, stalactites, stalagmites and other cave decorations formed as limestone laden ground water dripped into the air-filled caverns.

It was amazing that we were walking in what was once the sea!

There were different areas within the cave and we visited the Bottomless Pit, the Lower Cave and saw the top of the Cross. There was one area where bat droppings were found in vast quantities.

Map of Big room cavern and the Cross.

Information on the Bat Roost areas.







This proved that bats have been at the Carlsbad Cavern for thousands of years, but we were told that relatively few enter the area we were in. But from March to October, thousands of Mexican freetail bats roost by day in Bat cave, a passage closed to the public. Tourists can witness the dramatic flight from the natural entrance at dusk, but we had a long way to go, so decided we’d have to imagine what it’s like to see thousands of bats flying out at dusk instead.

Kit listening to self guided information.

The ladder the early explorers used...

...and as it is today! No way I'd use it!











When our tour had finished, we looked around the centre and gift shop, then made the long trek to Dallas in Texas.

Catching the elevator back up!

Amber looks good as a ranger..... does her sister kaitlin!











We did stop for a bite to eat at Pizza Hut, then stopped an hour later at a place called Big Spring. A real mining town, where the people were extremely friendly.

Jai and Flynn eating...

Chayse clowning around.






Akaisha reflecting on life...

...and Kit slurping away!








You will have to wait until the next blog to meet Daphne and Nick and their gorgeous dogs. Now, this is an experience worth coming back for! See you then.

4 Responses to Carlsbad Caverns National Park – New Mexico

  1. Mum and Dad

    Hey kids-had to talk quietly in the cave—I’d like to see that!!!!!!!!!!

    Re the bats- you may remember that Uncle Scott had pet “fruit bats” at Millstream.

    All the blogs will make a fantastic record of your USA adventures.


    Nan and Pop

    • drivinguscrazy

      Hi Mum and Dad,
      Yes, it is hard to believe that the kids were that quiet for that long!
      Scott would have enjoyed visiting Carlsbad Cavern (maybe he did when he visited the Grand canyon last time!?)
      Dallas is the next blog post. We had a fantastic time there!
      Love Cath

  2. Aunty Trace

    Love Akaisha’s reflective face!! XX

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