We booked the two tours ahead online- Lower Caves and the Kings Palace and then did the Great Room on our own. The price is right- don't be afraid to spend a small amount of money (less than a movie ticket) on the guided tours. Debbie D was our Lower Cave expert guide- She was fabulous and so funny and fun. Being in my mid-50's and not terribly athletic, I was a bit nervous, at first. This was a great trip- I didn't have any problems at all. Our guide was a great teacher and took the time to demonstrate and talk us through every step. I will never forget this trip- The Carlsbad Caverns are tremendous in all ways. Take your children- take your friends- take yourself!!! Just go! The gift shop and cafe offer a lot and everyone there was helpful and kind and I could tell they actually loved their jobs. Btw, we brought gloves and didn't need them- the park provides them, but do bring 3, yes, three AA batteries. Wear a long sleeve T-shirt and long pants, socks and hiking shoes or sneakers with good tread.