Hidden under the towering peaks of Arizona’s Guadalupe Mountains, Carlsbad Caverns National Park hosts a horde of otherworldly wonders and spooky surprises. Believed to be the oldest network of caves on the planet, this collection of colossal caverns offers both nature lovers and history buffs an opportunity to exercise their expertise as the park represents a fusion of both natural splendor and American ingenuity. In this edition of The StickerTalk, strap on your spelunking gear as we explore the underground universe contained in Carlsbad Caverns!
Once called the “Grand Canyon with a roof on it” by Will Rogers, everything about Carlsbad Caverns reflects its sheer size. The national park encompasses an area of 46,766 acres and includes an excess of 115 individual caves. One of the largest caves contained in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, simply referred to as the “Big Room” boasts ceilings that reach elevations of 100 feet in addition to a hole known as the Bottomless Pit (although it has a very definite depth of 140 feet).
The animals of Carlsbad Caverns National Park are as interesting as they are diverse. Perhaps the most noted resident of the caves, Carlsbad Caverns plays host to over 400,000 bats. In fact, the cave network was mined for its ample supply of bat guano in the early twentieth century before it became a tourist attraction. Other local species of fauna include the kangaroo rat, javelina, and a curious species of microbe currently being tested as a cure for cancer.
For those who love a good scare, Carlsbad Caverns National Park offers up its infamous Slaughter Canyon Cave. With no artificial lighting or paved walkways, visitors to this portion of the park must brave the natural wiles of the cave including humidity, looming rock formations, and, you guessed it, lots of guano.