Our friend Carol had been asking for some pictures of rocks. This post is all rocks but there’s only one with any a blue sky, the rest are rocks from the inside! One of the most spectacular views on this leg of our journey was the 8085 ft El Capitan, the tenth highest peak in Texas. Quite impressive. Even more impressive was the idea that the alternative route to Carlsbad (through Cloudcroft) would have been about 600 feet higher than El Capitan.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park was the big destination here so we could take in some of those underground rocks and it was outstanding! The self-guided tour allows you to walk the “Big Room” (about 4000 ft x 625 ft x 225 ft at the highest point) at your own pace. It covers about 1.25 miles of trail (about 8.2 acres in area) and takes about one and a half hours. There are two ways to get into the cave. First, you could use the natural entrance and walk another 1.25 miles and descend about 750 feet most of which is steep switchbacks. The second method only takes about one minute, the elevator. Most visitors walk in or take the elevator down and then ride the elevator back up to the surface. We took the elevator down and walked back out. Think of the Watkins Glen Gorge Trail but half the distance and twice the gain in elevation!
Note: Most of the photos below are quite large. Click or tap on the image to see a larger version.
Giant dome is the tallest formation in the cave at about 62 feet. The Twin Domes are about 48 feet tall.
Last but not least… Where do you have a little snack before you start hiking back up to the surface? The lunch room, of course!
One reason for choosing the Carlsbad KOA was to check out their reputation for good home made BBQ. Eat in, take out, or they deliver right to your site. It did not disappoint! As for the rest, very clean restrooms and very hot showers. It was a bit dusty but so is everything else out here…