Carlsbad Caverns National Park NM & Guadaloupe National Park TX

Visitor’s center below.  Pay there, and then follow the signs outside to the cave’s entrance.

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Free self guided tours in Carlsbad Caverns this weekend, so I don’t remember the exact price.  Maybe $15 to see King’s Cavern and the Big Room, self-guided.

If passing through west Texas or southern New Mexico, this needs to be added to must see list for 4 hours.

Bring an extra shirt.  In the caves there is dripping water (I hope) and cooler temperatures.  Walking shoes are a must.  Grippy is better, though I had no problem in sneakers.

Save your battery / film for the big room.  Flash required for most people.  But flash won’t help in Big Room.  In there, you need a higher ISO or long shutter.  Tripod would help but then you’re fighting for space w huge walking crowds.  My phone camera worked ok (digital camera sensor technology is amazing), but I wonder how it would look w long shutter w DSLR and tripod.

This is important!  Elevator back up is an hour wait with a large crowd.  You can walk back up the way you came in, in same amount of time, but bring a map, so you don’t get lost and walk in circles.  (5/5 self-rated for tourists)

park guadalupe mountains, on road approach.JPG
Dog canyon campground is hour away in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in adjacent TX, and there’s a narrow, winding road up the mountains to get there.  I do not recommend driving at night.  It has to be pitch black at night, and there is wildlife and grazing cows.  But it’s a small campground at higher elevation.  It’s cooler at night there.  (3/5 self-rated for tourists)

To get there from Carlsbad, you pass Lincoln National Forest (no pictures), still in NM.  There is a small vacation community at top of the peak.  85 degrees at white sands.  67 degrees at the peak.

 

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