What can be said? The caverns are indescribable. A trip to Carlsbad is a must do; however, trying to “make good time” driving from Pecos, TX to Carlsbad is impossible. Arrange to travel northeast from El Paso (2.5 hrs) or southeast from Albuquerque (4 hours) via Roswell/Artesia. BONUS…visiting in winter is great. The site is so large, that you feel alone…(but don’t forget to whisper inside..shhh!)
Driving up to the park are sweeping vistas, and then the natural entrance to the cavern is a 1 mile walk to the mouth…then down, down, down.
Inside Carlsbad Caverns there are more than 119 caves. The first day, we toured the Big Room, a HUGE underground chamber. We returned the next day to see the Kings Palace, four highly decorated chambers deep in the cavern. As in these pictures, you walk, and walk…staring up, down, around, and this is what you see:
The ladder, not part of your tour, was installed in 1924 by Jim White, credited for discovering and exploring the caverns. It extends 90 feet down to the Lower Cavern. The different types of formations are named drapery, soda straws, ribbons, curtains, totem poles, cave pools, stalagmites, and stalactites.
The cave is not dead or alive, it is inactive. You can hear dripping, but “it is a fading echo of what would have been heard long ago”. Poetic. The formations that continue to grow and decorate the caverns are due to rain and snow melt soaking through the limestone rock, and eventually dripping into the cave.