The Natural Entrance Self-Guided Tour
Those in good physical health will enjoy the Natural Entrance Self-Guided Tour. This journey is not only physically challenging, but offers a glimpse into the history of these caves. Long before they became a national park, these caves were explored by intrepid individuals from many different cultures over thousands of years. When these brave individuals descended into the depths, it was this entrance that they used. Today, modern explorers can take this journey for themselves and, along the way, learn a great deal about this national treasure.
The Natural Entrance Self-Guided Tour starts out 750 feet above where it ends up. The path follows some steep and treacherous terrain into the Earth, with a total trip of about 1 and a quarter miles. This tour has some fairly severe downward routes, so those with trouble walking will likely find it a bit too much for their taste. Those who can make this journey, however, will be rewarded with access to several different sites. The Bat Cave and the Boneyard are to be found along this route. The Green Lake Overlook and the Devil’s Spring are also found along this tour.
This tour ends in the Big Room, where guests may take another self-guided tour. This is an excellent way to make a day of a trip to Carlsbad Caverns. There is a rest area where the Natural Entrance officially ends, which leads on to the Big Room. Those who take this tour should wear sturdy shoes with plenty of ankle support. Though the route is rough at times, this is not one of the tours that requires that visitors bring along equipment such as flashlights or knee pads. The Main Corridor will be the route along which most of the descent into the caves is made.
This tour costs $6 for adults and children under 15 can go for free. Those 16 or under must have an adult with them when they take this tour. The tour may be taken every day during the park’s regular hours. The only day this tour is not available is December 25. This tour offers a nice blend of physical challenge with safe environs. Those who wish to be a bit more extreme in their explorations may wish to take the Spider Cave or the Hall of the White Giant Tour. This tour is also offered by lantern light.