Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Day 5 (part 2) - Alex's 5 State Summer Vacation

Song:  Brain Damage / Eclipse

Group:  Pink Floyd

Inside of the caverns was humid...
but cool.

The walk down was rather lengthly...
but wasn't too difficult.

The big room walk was relatively flat.
We were some 750 feet below the surface here.

Alex said that his favorite part of our trip was Carlsbad Caverns.

We then made our way North to Albuquerque for supper...
and a room for the night.

We found a nice Japanese restaurant in Albuquerque, NM.

My wife had Sashimi.

Alex had Unagi Donburi.

I had Grilled Mackerel.

Alex and I then tried the Blackened Sesame Seed Ice Cream.

It had a slightly smokey flavor...
but was surprisingly good.

In the morning we drove through the southwest corner of Colorado...
and then into Utah to visit Arches National Park...
and then down to Blanding for the night.

We then used this as a staging point for the following day.


  1. We had visited Mammoth Cave in Kentucky a few years ago, but didn't see anything as spectacular as you saw at Carlsbad Caverns. (Though to be fair, we only took a very short tour of it). I think my son would also say this was his favorite spot if he went on this vacation. You said that the walk down into the caverns was not too difficult... how was the walk back up?

  2. There is a high speed elevator at the bottom of the caverns (also bathrooms and a cafe). The walk was about 2.5 miles long, with only the first mile heading downwards. Walking in and then walking the full extent of the underground caverns is a must. Although, you could also take the elevator down to the start of the level inside walk. However, you miss out on the full experience of the walk in. It is well worth it. There are also many places you can sit and rest on the way down.

    1. Hi Shiroi, I am planning our spring break trip and we will be going to Carlsbad Caverns. How much time did you spend underground there? Would we have enough time if we got there and began our hike down around 2:30 PM and stayed until the last elevator at 4:30?

  3. Yes, you may take an elevator down and walk around and see most of the sights from there. However, I highly recommend starting earlier in the day, and taking the full guided tour (don't forget to check to see if you may book in advance). There are so many interesting things to learn from the ranger. I say, if at all possible, don't rush this trip. The walk down was part of the enjoyment. It really conveys the feeling of the depth of the cave system, and so, brings everything to life. We had spent over 3 hours underground, and we hadn't seen everything. On a prior trip, my wife and I had taken a guided tour. That is the way to go. And, don't forget the evening flight of the bats. One important point, you must not have gone into any other cave system anywhere within the month prior to going to Carlsbad caverns. There is a bat fungal disease killing many of the bats. They won't let you go in if you had.

    1. Good to get your thoughts, Shiroi. I definitely want to take the walk down and not the elevator. We'll plan to leave our previous destination as early as possible in order to have more time here. I will think about the guided tour... sometimes we are reluctant to do that as we are nervous about committing a set amount of time with our son and not being able to cut it short if necessary. I appreciate the heads up on not going into any other cave... was thinking of seeing one near San Antonio where we will be earlier that week, but will skip that now as I don't want to miss Carlsbad. Unfortunately, the evening flight of the bats does not begin until May so we will miss that. But it should still be a great experience. Thank you, Shiroi!

  4. Don't forget to have extra camera batteries. You will be using the flash on some shots, and you will be using the camera a lot. Also, the cave system near the bottom is cool, so, you may want to pack a light jacket.

    1. Good reminder!

      Yesterday, I reserved the guided Lower Cave tour. It sounds very interesting and we are looking forward to seeing a different part of the cave that most people don't see. Just a little nervous about Kai being too scared to climb down a ladder, or the 3-hour length of the tour, but hopefully it will go well. Thanks for suggesting it!

  5. Good, it will really make the experience truly memorable. Be sure to get plenty of rest the night before. Enjoy!


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