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“Good light needed to see this” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Green Lake

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Green Lake
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
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Santa Fe, New Mexico
Top Contributor
236 reviews 236 reviews
93 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
218 helpful votes 218 helpful votes
“Good light needed to see this”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

The Green Lake is on the way through the Natural Entrance at the caverns and can be a bit difficult to really see much except for the dark water on top. Bright flashlights are needed here, and this can be a really difficult spot for photographers to take decent photos.

Visited October 2011
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English first
Omaha
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Some random advice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

Since the packing and hidden dangers categories seem to have vanished, I thought I'd put some random advice here. First, Green Lake - You'll see it if you go in through the Natural Entrance. It's a nicely decorated chamber that would be considered spectacular in any other cave. Lots of small formations, no big superstar. There's a bed where the lake used to be, but we didn't see any sign of water.

Now the random advice: Take a high powered flashlight, especially if you plan to take pictures. Our first day we discovered the camera couldn't focus, and we bought a regular flashlight. It couldn't light up anything more than 50 ft. away, and we still missed pictures. Even if you're just touring the cave, there are many wonderful formations hidden in the dark.

For photographers: A good off-camera flash is very helpful. I used mine on wireless with 3/4 of the light coming from the big flash and 1/4 from the built in one. Wish I had used a long cable or radio controlled flash instead, as it was hard to compose a picture, try to get cross lighting, and make sure the off-camera flash saw the flash on the camera. A tripod would have been nice, but we flew and mine is too big to carry on. You can't take a tripod or monopod anywhere except the Natural Entrance and Big Room anyway. I had the best luck setting both the camera and flash to underexpose. Between the cave lighting and the flash it was very easy to completely lose the highlights. Speaking of the cave lighting, it's beautifully done, but your camera will "see" colors the human eye doesn't. I assume there are gels on the lights. You can't get true color setting your camera on incandescent or fluorescent light. If you're post editing, a temperature somewhere around 3000 and a tint about 12 seems to work a lot of the time, but you tend to get a monotone look. The flash gives more natural color, but also produces bright spots and uneven lighting. Very challenging and a lot of fun, would have liked to stay longer and keep experimenting. Any how, take it for what it's worth - you might have better ideas.

Food: We ate one meal in the gift shop cafeteria. The food was edible but blah, and it took forever to be served. Since my main goal was to spend as much time in the caves as possible, we went to the local Walmart, bought sandwich supplies, fruit, a collapsible cooler, etc., and packed our own food. That way we could run out to the parking lot, bolt down our food, and get back in the cave. Not for everyone, but if it's a once in a lifetime trip, why waste an hour eating?

Getting in and out: There were lines for the elevators, and it gets worse in summer. While we were there the main elevators were being renovated, and as of May 1 are still not working. Allow extra time to get in and out of the caves.

The restrooms are located outside the main entrance to the visitor's center, at the Natural Entrance and near the elevators down in the cave.

If taking the guided (fee charged) tours is important to you, sign up early. You can book on line at Recreation. gov or by calling 1.877.444.6777. We were there in the off season and heard plenty of people told the tours were full. Of course, some got in, too. It's worth asking and hoping, just don't count on getting in. Tripods, monopods, walking sticks, and tripods are not allowed on guided tours.

No strollers are allowed in any part of the cave and no children under 3 on any of the guided tours.

Please don't throw coins (or anything else) in water or holes. You may think you're making a harmless wish, but it damages the cave. No food or beverages in the cave except for plain water. That includes gum, breath mints, and even food you plan to eat later. The smell can lure animals into the cave. They often get lost and starve to death.

The bats are only around in summer. Photography is not allowed during bat flights.

The Big Room shortcut is not wheelchair accessible. If you're making repeat trips to the Big Room or just in a hurry, take the shortcut. The main things you're missing are the bottomless pit, a view of the lower cave, and a huge seating area where you're supposed to see a cross in the ceiling.

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arizona
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Pollution in action”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2011

It seems as if the pollution that happened in Yellowstone happened here with people throwing things into the pools and thus the minerals reacting w/ the items in the water. It is sad.

Visited November 2011
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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