Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a United States National Park in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico. The primary attraction of the park is the show cave, Carlsbad Cavern. The park contains over 117 caves. Three caves are open to public tours.
Slaughter Canyon Cave and Spider Cave are undeveloped,
excepted for designated paths for the guided adventure caving tours.
Outside the entrance to the caverns
Entrance to the caverns
Carlsbad Caverns is the most famous and is fully developed with electric lights, paved trails, and elevators.
Rock of Ages in the Big Room
Carlsbad Cavern includes a large cave chamber, the Big Room, a natural limestone chamber which is almost 4,000 feet (1,220 m) long, 625 feet (191 m) wide, and 255 feet (78 m) high at the highest point. It is the third largest chamber in North America and the seventh largest in the world.
Temple of the Sun
Lechuguilla Cave is well known for its delicate speleothems and pristine underground environment. Guano mining occurred in the pit below the entrance in the 1910s. After gaining permission from the national park managers to dig into a rubble pile where wind whistled between the rocks when the weather changed, cavers broke through into a room in 1986. Over 120 miles of cave passage has been explored and mapped. It has been mapped to a depth of 1,600 feet (490 m), making it the deepest limestone cave in the U.S.
New secret passages discovered in Carlsbad Caverns - MSNBC - June 13, 2012
Welcome to 'Oz': After century of exploration, more pits, rooms and tunnels are found. Despite being explored for more than a century, Carlsbad Caverns National Park still hides more passages. A team exploring the park's Lechuguilla Cave, the deepest cave in the continental United States, climbed over 410 feet (125 meters) into a high dome in early May. Upon reaching the top, lead climber James Hunter discovered a maze of previously unknown passages, pits and large rooms.
The team named it Oz. One of the newly discovered pits, dubbed Kansas Twister, is 510 feet (155 m) tall, making it the largest vertical expanse yet discovered in the caverns. It's about half as high as New York City's Chrysler Building or Chicago's Sears Tower. The cavers use laser distance meters to measure the height from the floor to their final rope anchor. A large room, which they named Munchkin Land, measured 600 feet (183 m) long, 100-150 feet (30-46 m) wide, and 75-150 feet (23-46 m) tall.
Lechuguilla Cave is known worldwide for its large rooms, unusual minerals, massive and fragile cave formations and scientific importance. This discovery heralds new areas for physical and scientific exploration.
Ten cavers from Colorado, South Dakota, New Mexico, California and Arizona participated in the eight-day underground expedition that made these discoveries. Since mapping began in 1986, explorers have surveyed more than 134.6 miles (216.6 kilometers) of passages in Lechuguilla Cave. Because of the cave's delicate environment and scientific importance, only about 100 people, most of them vetted explorers and scientists, are permitted to enter each year.
Most of the newly found section of Lechuguilla Cave is in a layer of rock called the Yates Formation, deep red, orange and yellow rock with relatively few stalactites and stalagmites. The untouched nature of Lechuguilla Cave has been a boon for research. A recent study published in the journal PLoS ONE found that ancient bacteria in the cave possessed a surprising degree of bacterial resistance.
The Bottomless Pit was originally said to have no bottom. Stones were tossed into it, but no sound of the stones striking the bottom was heard. Later exploration revealed the bottom was about 140 feet (40m) deep and covered with soft dirt. The stones made no sound when they struck the bottom because they were lodged in the soft soil.
Bell Cord Room
Big Room or The Hall of the Giants
Green Lake Room
Hall of the White Giant
Lake of the Clouds
Left Hand Tunnel
New Mexico Room
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