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“Don't take the elevator down!”

Carlsbad Caverns Natural Entrance Tour
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed March 22, 2013

The natural entrance to the caves is a 1.25 mile, mainly downhill, hike into the depths of the cave. The path is very well maintained and it provides easy access to everyone to walk down it. The sights you see on the way down into the depths are just amazing. The best thing about it is the fact that the lighting is just enough so that you're not in darkness. However, you can just about see your way forward. This gives a great feeling of walking in the natural environment rather than having everything bathed in artificial light. It's just an awe-inspiring walk down into the cave itself. Definitely take the elevator up though, unless you're a hiking fiend!

1  Thank HKertland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,114 - 1,118 of 1,356 reviews

Reviewed March 20, 2013

I've been to a few caves ... they're all wonderful in their own way. But I gotta say that Carlsbad is just a cut above! We took the self-guided tour which is about 3 hours long. There are guided tours but be advised you do have to reserve spots. Not sure how long ahead but we got there on a really slow day in March ... were almost the only ones there but the guided tours were still booked solid. Anyway ... the self-guided was enough in itself. We walked in - you can opt to take an elevator down but we're fairly healthy and went for the long walk. Just walking into the natural entrance is a treat ... it's sooooo cool ... seeing how far down you're going. The first half of the walk is simply beautiful ... and we thought that was all there was. Not by a long shot! After you hit mid-way (restrooms, small food/coffee shop) you head to the Big Room. I've never said "Wow", "Amazing" and "Holy Cow" so many times in my life! It is not to be missed!!!

1  Thank Linda H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

I haven't been since I was a kid. We had a great time and learned a lot. The walk down will get you blood pumping, but its worth it. Tips for a great experience:

If you have little ones, take the bathroom break at the surface before entry to the cavern, the next stop is at the bottom of the cavern.

Take a bottled water to enjoy while relaxing at one of the many rest stops on the way down.

Take a flashlight to fully enjoy the formations.

Take comfy shoes, it's a good brisk walk.

Take a small backpack to carry your water and flashlight when your not using it.

Rent the $5 carry along tour radio, it really does a great job describing the caverns and the history. It's like having a personal guided tour, totally worth it.

**** If you are going got stay the night make our reservations in advance, there is a ton off construction and pipeline work in the area, hotel rooms can be scarce.

3  Thank Biglift1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

This is simply the best cave I've ever seen. It is worth the time to walk down so you can see everything. The Great Room is fantastic. There are many formations to see. It is crowded but if you get there early, you can see everything and take the elevator up and out. Takr a flashlight to see the path in the dark areas and see the formations.

1  Thank kuwells
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013 via mobile

Make sure you take the natural entrance down. This gives you a chance to view a lot more of the caverns. It is not strenuous to go down the natural entrance but definitely is going back up. Not to worry they have an elevator which can take you down and up if you don't have a lot of time. Audio tour is worth it If you don't want to read the signs.

1  Thank forceejc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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