Okay, so I am a little behind on my coverage of our summer trip. We re now technically on day 19 and are finally getting a break at the Hyatt Place in Mesa, AZ. for a few days. We basically had no service at Caprock Canyon and that put me a little behind. So today, I want to share with you our trip to Carlsbad Caverns and our two night stay at the Pine Springs campground in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. One place is just as gorgeous and unique as the other and both are worth a trip to see.
When the boys heard we are headed to another cavern, they were thrilled. They enjoyed Blanchard Springs Caverns so much that they were itching to get out and go when we pulled into the Carlsbad Caverns parking lot. The first thing I will say, is that the scenery surrounding these caverns is gorgeous. Rolling hills and rocky dessert mountains as far as the eye can see.
Once we entered the visitor’s center and went to the information desk, we learned that we still had time to go down through the natural cave entrance and go down to explore the cave on our own. If you have trouble with your knees or heart, this route is not recommended. We paid $10 for our entrance tickets and hiked out to the natural entrance. This entrance descends 750 feet into the ground and follows a 1 1/4 mile trail that the explorers of the cave followed.
The views were beautiful, seeing the bats was fun and the cool temperatures of the cave was a welcomed break from the heat of the outdoors. However, it is important to understand that this is a lot larger of a cave than others like Blanchard Springs, and so, the breathtaking sites are more spread out. Some of my boys preferred Carlsbad Caverns and especially loved the idea that the got to use a restroom 750 feet under the ground, but I preferred the clustered beauty of Blanchard Springs.
Carlsbad caverns has a Junior Ranger program, which we did not get to since we only had a few hours to explore the caves. They also have a night time program that happens around 7:45pm where the bats fly out of the cave in a mass exit for night feeding. No cameras or filming are allowed at that program however. Carlsbad Caverns was definitely more cost effective and we loved being able to explore at our own pace for as long as we wanted. If you are near Carlsbad, NM. I would definitely recommend the trip out to the caverns to see this natural beauty in person.