Return to Carlsbad Caverns — Part 3


Bashful Elephant

Bashful Elephant

Up until 1996 visitors had unfettered access to all the main cavern rooms.  This changed because of vandalism, and since that time access to the four “Scenic Rooms” is strictly controlled.  Tours to these four rooms are limited in numbers, escorted, and require reservations.  By all means make sure that you reserve a spot on one of these tours or you’ll miss some of the most spectacular formations in Carlsbad.

Scenic Rooms Tour

Scenic Rooms Tour

Give yourself at least one full hour to stroll from the cavern entrance to the meeting point in the Big Room.  We made it in from the Visitors Center in just over forty minutes, but I wouldn’t want to try that again.  The trails are steep and at times slippery, and weekend crowds will block your way if you’re rushed for time.

Carlsbad Caverns 61

Carlsbad Caverns 61

The four scenic rooms on this special tour are:  The King’s Palace, The Papoose Room, The Queen’s Chamber, and The Green Lake Room.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Return to Carlsbad Caverns — Part 3

  1. Gorgeous photos, as always, Doug. I visited quite a few stalactite caverns in my life, including at least one in the US, but I’ve never been to Carlsbad Caverns. My favourite stalactite cave is the grotte of Rochefort in Belgium. It even has an underground lake.

    • The Mammoth Caves in Kentucky have an underground river which you can actually canoe when it’s not flooded.

      One day I’ll probably have to check out the Caves of Lorette (I just looked them up — didn’t know anything about them until you just mentioned them).

      • The Caves of Lorette are really gorgeous, plus Rochefort has an excellent local beer. The Belgian Ardennes are great for a holiday anyway. Castles, caves, war memorials (Verdun, site of one of the most devastating battles of WWI, is just across the French border), a book village, beer and great food.

  2. Sounds wonderful, Cora. I even have one of your books to read while I’m there.

    • I actually have two half-finished fantasy novellas set in the Belgian Ardennes lying around on my harddrive. One involved ghostly crusader knights and swordfights, the other was about a water nymph living in the river Lesse. I should probably dig them up and finish them sometime.