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“AWESOME!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hall of The White Giant

Hall of The White Giant
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
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Activities: Group tours/walking tour
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Attraction details
Owner description: Only the truly adventurous ( and fit ) should consider this four-hour guided tour of one of Carlsbad Caverns' most captivating caves. Involves crawling through tight spaces, walking on slippery surfaces and getting dirty.
Portales, New Mexico
Level Contributor
38 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

This is a really great tour, especially if you are looking to add a little adventure to you trip into the caverns. Although the trail is pretty strenuous, most people should be able to complete it (at least physically). The guides and other participants did a very good job in helping others out, good communication is key. The cost is fairly inexpensive, $20 per person, but the experiences you gain is well worth it! Since the tour is only offered on Saturdays, I would recommend you make reservations early.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
78 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Awesome tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

the tour of the Hall of the White Giant is superb. Not for those who are not in good shape, as there is a LOT of climbing, crawling, shimmying, squeezing, heights to be conquered, and dirt to be smudged.
It IS for those who love adventure and are physically able to do so.
Tour is 4 hours and price is $20 - A STEAL!

They provide you with equipment (old info says bring your own - no longer the case due to fears of contamination of White Nose Fungus - a bat disease). You do need batteries for your headlamp, but even if you forget those they'll help you out.

You are allowed to bring a camera but where you're going to put it is up to you - it will likely get in the way in these tiny spaces and/or scratched. But, the event is certainly photo-worthy if you're willing to bring one along.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
143 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Most challenging and adventurous outdoor experience of my life!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

They tell you it's 'Extremely Strenuous' and for a change, it really is!!!! I've climbed mountains, kayaked, canoed, hiked, trekked, caved and this was the most challenging (and probably the BEST) undertaking of my life - and I'm in great shape in my 50's. After one of my pals washed out in the first 20 feet (too big to fit through the first narrow spot - 6' and 250+ pounds) - two of us kept going and I had the time of my life!

Crawling, chimneying, ascending slick flowstone on a 30 foot knotted rope, 10 feet more on a 9 inch wide ladder and numerous drop-offs on the trail side of 30+ feet... this had it all. The journey was the experience although the unspoiled nature of the White Giant Hall was cool, too. Despite the 55° temperature, we were sweating in t-shirts and breathing hard to keep up. The rangers were great - they love being assigned to this tour..... and if you can, follow right behind the leader - you'll learn the most and know best where and how to step next....

We'd planned to do Spider Cave (a similar extremely strenuous tour) the next day but were too sore to undertake it.... even more crawling but less climbing - and my elbows were killing me - bring flexible (neoprene) elbow pads if possible - they give you the helmet, headlamp, gloves and knee-pads . We even offered the tickets to a couple 25 year olds who'd told us they'd hoped to do Spider Cave but it was sold out - they, too, were too exhausted to do it.......

If you love adventure and are in good shape and not too big, this one is for you!!!!!

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, CA
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Unforgettable experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2011

The Hall of the White Giant Ranger-led Tour was awesome - tons of fun! One of the coolest things I've ever done.

But first let me just say that this tour is definitely NOT for everyone. It is very strenuous and sure to leave you bruised and battered. The surfaces in the cave where you have to find a toehold or handhold can be very slippery, and I'm sure some people get hurt worse than just bruises. The crawlspaces are REALLY REALLY tight and you will have to crawl/inch your way along on your stomach. But totally worth it, even if it may not sound like it. It was THAT much fun.

Tours are limited to 8 people; two rangers accompany each group - one in front, and the other at the back. Communication with the person in front and behind you is very important, as there's no space to see much else for the first 60% or so of the tour. So if you plan to go on the tour, please be very team-oriented, communicative and help or watch out for your fellow tour-members.

The entrance to the cave is kept a secret as there are no gates or permanent barriers to keep people from crawling in on their own and getting into a dangerous situation. But trust me - no one will find it, even though thousands pass by it every day. When the lead ranger took us there and indicated the entrance, everyone shrugged and looked in disbelief "What - that little rathole?".

That's the beginning of the adventure: you crawl right in and already you're on your belly like a snake. The crevices are contorted in angles that the human body should not have to go in. After several draining minutes of this you emerge in a tiny space known as the Meeting Room or the Decision Room, with just enough space to sit up in. There you can decide if you've had enough and can turn around if it's too much for you. From there there's lot's more crawling, sweating, "chimneying", climbing up knotted ropes and a "ladder" whose rungs are only wide enough for one foot at a time, up a shaft only as wide as my shoulders.

Great adventures all.

Oh, and the final destination, the Hall of the White Giant, is nothing compared to the Big Room. But all the strenuous work you did to get there makes it very special - plus it's still "active": the mineral-laden water drops at the end of the overhanging soda straw formations are particurlarly beautiful when you shine your light on them.

When you go I can't emphasize enough to streamline yourself as much as possible. Even though the cave is cool, wear only a very light long-sleaved shirt and long pants - you will be sweating a ton. Also, wear hiking boots or other shoes with really good traction; you'll need it. You should have kneepads and full-fingered gloves which will allow you to grip small rock edges. I think the Park Service recommendations even discourage you from bringing a water bottle, but I would recommend a small bottle that you can maybe stick in a zipperd side pocket of hiking pants, or something similar. I was dying of thirst because I didn't have one.

The tour is only offered once a week on Saturdays. That means only about 400 people a year get to have this great experience. Reserve early. If you're physically and mentally up for it, I guarantee you'll have memories of a lifetime.

Visited July 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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