Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Another 50 miles west along the ancient limestone reef that makes Guadeloupe Peak is another natural wonder – hidden from sight over 1,000ft underground. Carlsbad Caverns are internationally famous, but to be honest we only went because we were almost passing – we’ve got limestone show-caves 30 mins from home, right?

How wrong can you get?  The Caverns turned out to be literally the most breathtaking natural sight I’ve ever seen – and that includes the Grand Canyon and Yosemite Valley!

The natural entrance is reminiscent of Peak Cavern, but then takes you on a mile walk and down 1,000ft through a heavily decorated wonderland of twisting passageways and giant halls. These would fully justify the trip, but are only the warm up act.

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This deposits you in “The Big Room” and for once this is no exaggeration! People always calibrate these things in football pitches – apparently you could fit 40 in here! There would be plenty of headroom too – up to 100m in places, and you explore it via a mile and a half walk around it’s perimeter. Awesome! The decorations are incredible, but it is the shear scale that is most impressive – something off a Star Wars filmset as you descend through the innards of the Death Star (they actually did film Journey to the Centre of the Earth here).

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