Carlsbad caverns was our 3rd cave experience of the trip, after Great Basin National Park (Nevada) and Horne Lake Basin (Vancouver Island, BC). This was definitely the biggest and the best!
In Great Basin National Park we did a ranger lead tour and learned alot about the world of caves. I thought we’d mix it up a bit this time and so we did a ranger lead tour of the Left Hand Tunnel, which is conducted by candle lantern. It was great fun and really helped give you a sense of what the original exploration environment was like.
This national park is a great example of the changing philosophies within the National Park system. It has 2 elevator shafts and used to have a full restaurant and retail store 750 ft below ground at the base of the elevators. The logic at the time was to make the cave more accessible to the public vs the core preservation of the cave, which is what we experienced in Great Basin.
Both Tim and Hunter tackled the junior ranger program (Tim doing the 13yrs and older version) and we all had alot of fun. It really helps make for a great learning experience while you are in the park. This was definitely a great family experience. We spent about 5 hours here but could have easily spent the entire day if we hadn’t needed to continue our travels south east…