Carlsbad Caverns Trip

Carlsbad Caverns Trip Highlights

Prior to returning to El Paso, the group travels to the small town of Carlsbad, New Mexico. There, at the margin of the Permian limestones of the Guadalupe Mountains, is one of the most spectacular cave systems ever discovered. Carlsbad Caverns National Park protects this natural treasure. Cave development began about 1.2 million years ago, when water began forming the natural entrance  (below) along fractures in the limestone. Nearby oil and salt deposits aided in cave formation by providing CO2 and H2S gases that increase dissolution of the limestone.

Carlsbad is the deepest of all the Guadalupe Mountain caves. The Big Room is 678 feet (206 m) below the surface and formed about 880,000 years ago. The immense dripstone formations of the Big Room are the main attraction of Carlsbad Caverns.