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“Take The Long Way In”

Carlsbad Caverns Natural Entrance Tour
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Manhattan, Kansas
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Take The Long Way In”
Reviewed July 5, 2014

Don't take the elevator. It's fast, but if you are in even somewhat good shape take the long way in. The path is steep with lots of switchbacks but it is not slippery and if you take your time you won't have trouble walking in. Be sure to buy the audio self-guided tour at the gift shop. It is very good about explaining every transition as you move from daylight to the great room. Go early before there are too many people on the path. For some reason there are always those who like to rush past you rather than take their time and look around at where they are. There are bigger caves, longer caves, and deeper caves, but non as beautiful as Carlsbad Caverns. By taking the natural entrance in you pass through the 'twilight' zone and get a complete cavern experience.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Paul H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2014 via mobile

The visitor center is at the top above the caverns so you exit out back on the path to sites you can't imagine. We walked the path all the way down and thank goodness they have elevators for a ride back up. The caverns are indescribable in print. You have to see for yourself to feel the overwhelming wonder. Unfortunately we could not stay to see the bats fly out at dusk. Maybe next time.

Thank Diana C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Paso, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Spectacular walk”
Reviewed June 30, 2014

If you love Jehovah's creation , this place is awesome! You can walk all the way down to the caverns and if you get tire you can go back by the elevator. The next day, my legs feels really sore. But it was worth it. It was a good exercise. If you stay until 8:30 pm, you can see millions of bats coming out of the cave. Ah, the gift shop is nice too!

Visited June 2014
Thank Ricucho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“The best way to enter”
Reviewed June 28, 2014 via mobile

Entering via this route lets you experience wonder at every turn. You can feel the temperature change as you descend and also note the changing light and smells. It is so much better than riding an elevator straight to the big room.
Walk down and then ride the elevator back up.

Visited June 2014
Thank RAW17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Superior, Colorado, United States
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Words fail to do justice to this place.”
Reviewed June 28, 2014

We visited the Carlsbad Caverns National Park for one day - and it was spectacular. Words really do fail me - and pictures will not be able to convey the sheer size and grandeur of the caves. We took the elevator down and hiked out. Book the tours early and before you go - they do sell out. The self-guided tour of the Great Room is well worth the trip even if you don't get onto the other tours. The hike out is very steep - but gives a view you will not see anywhere else. Comfortable sturdy shoes and warm clothes recommended as it is much cooler 800+ feet below ground. The path is paved but uneven in parts. There is limited wheelchair access and some stairs. Small personal flashlights are a big plus because although your eyes will adjust the lighting is pretty dim. Snack bar down inside the cave is extremely limited but there is a restaurant on the surface. You can go back up and down the elevators with no problem.

One warning - this is a challenging natural wonder. We saw lots of kids heading in with flimsy footwear and no warm clothing and one woman carrying an infant in her arms and wondered how well that would all work out.

Otherwise extra planning is a good idea for travel to/accommodations for this trip. Hotels in Carlsbad can be scarce, booked up and very expensive. Frankly the camping looked a little grim but that was based just on driving by. Also watch your gas gauge if you are driving down from more populated areas... some of the smaller towns on the map are now virtual ghost towns with no gas stations for miles. Roswell has some reasonable restaurant options too as a break point to stretch your legs or if the kids are getting restless.

Visited June 2014
3 Thank PatMellen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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