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Wednesday, 01 May 2019

The Grand Canyon with a Roof: A Visit to Carlsbad Caverns - Page 2

Written by Jim Chamberlain
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The Dolls Theatre


The path to the Natural Entrance branches off the trail near the entrance to the “Big Room”. This is the other self-guided tour you can take in the caverns. I would walk down this trail and take the elevator back to surface to save time and energy. The natural entrance passes by the home of the caverns’ resident bat population. Thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats stream out of the entrance in the evening resembling a cloud of dark smoke as they leave. This can be seen from May thru October. The Bats were the source of the only mining” in the caverns. This was for their “guano” which was hauled out in large buckets to be made into fertilizer.

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Caveman Junction


My exploration of the” Big Room” ended at the Underground Lunchroom. At 750 feet below the surface it is probably the deepest underground of any cafeteria. Only a limited selection of food options is offered, and you cannot take any food or drink into the caverns. This is also the starting point for several of the Ranger guided tours like The Kings Palace, Hall of the White Giant, and Spider Cave. You need to purchase tickets for these tours in advance. You can mail a postcard from the deepest underground mail box of the U.S. Postal Service before you board the elevator for the return to the world above. Words don’t adequately describe the wonders of this world carved out limestone over eons, so I took a few pictures using long exposures, a tripod, and patience to capture images that will help you envision this fantasy world deep beneath the Guadalupe Mountains of the Chihuahuan desert of New Mexico.

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The Big Room 


©Jim Chamberlain

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Last modified on Wednesday, 01 May 2019

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