Slaughter Canyon Cave Tour
Unlike many of the caves in the Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Slaughter Cave has been used by humans for more than touring. This cavern was used for bat guano mining for many years. Today, the cavern is preserved and the site of one of the most extensive of tours on offer from the park service. This tour is offered daily during the busy season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and on a weekly basis during the off season. There are numerous underground wonders to be seen on this tour.
Slaughter Cavern is not accessible from the park’s visitor center. Situated over 20 miles away, the cavern is accessible from Whites City. Tour attendees are asked to be at the entrance to the cave 15 minutes before the tour starts. The tour does not meet at the parking lot, visitors must venture to the opening of the cave. The tour will last a total of 2 hours and visitors should be prepared for some rugged terrain. Sturdy shoes, preferably boots, are a must on this tour. There will be uneven ground, slippery terrain and guests must have their own light source. Small flashlights will not be adequate for the tour. Drinking water is required.
The journey starts with a challenging half-mile trek to the cavern. Expect this to be farily hard, even for advanced hikers. The group will progress with only their own light sources to guide them and in a single file. There are steps on this tour, as well, and guests may find some of them rather tall. Once the cavern has been reached, the rigors of the journey usually melt away in the presence of all there is to see. Along the 1 and a quarter mile total journey, guests will visit some amazing sights.
The Chinese Wall may carry the name of a very enormous and sturdy structure, but visitors to Slaughter Canyon Cave will find a very short and delicate natural dam. Guests will also find such wonders as the crystal column known as the Christmas Tree. The Monarch is the aptly-named column found in a section of the cave, almost 90 feet in height, it is among the tallest of known structures of its type. The tour will also educate visitors as to the history of this cave and how it has been used by humankind for many years.