So it’s winter and you are bored. So bored that you are willing to try anything to break the boredom. Go to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.
Now you are thinking “This guy is nuts!”. Um … yeah, and? 😀
Seriously, the place is open all year except for Christmas. In the winter it is less crowded. The temperature in the cave is about 56 degrees all year so you wont look stupid carrying a light jacket down to the entrance like in the summer. You can look stupid wearing it instead. NO! WAIT! I didn’t say that right. Just take a jacket with you, winter or summer, ok? 🙂
You may have concerns about the weather in winter. Okay, we’re talking a desert type area here so ice and snow probably won’t be a problem … but a weather check would be in order since ice and snow do happen. It can get rather cold in the winter above ground, so a coat and other winter apparel is a good idea as well.
I have been to Carlsbad Caverns more times than I want to count. In my childhood I think my family made the trip once a year. Seemed that way. But I enjoyed it just the same. Of course, we did it in the summer. But the views and the inside of the cave and all the sights were beautiful. Maybe I can try it one year in the winter. We’ll see.
Winter or summer, a vacation to Carlsbad Caverns is worth the effort. And speaking of effort, plan to walk a lot. The Natural Entrance Trail is a steep 1¼-mile (2 km) descent equivalent to about 79 stories from the cave entrance to the Big Room. This one-hour tour is recommended only for those in good physical condition. The Big Room Trail may be accessed from either the elevator or the bottom of the Natural Entrance trail. Allow one to two hours for this 1¼-mile (2 km) walk. A short-cut is available that cuts the length and duration in half.
Between the cave itself and the gift shops and other things to see, you are going to spend most of a day there. Don’t worry, there is a place to eat in the Big Room and a cafe in the Visitor’s Center as well. Oh, and there are facilities for those times that nature calls as well … just not on the walk down. So go before you go, Ok? 😉
You will need a place to stay while you are visiting. For more information, and places to stay and visit, see our New Mexico, Land of Enchantment, page.
Updated 3-10-2017: changed some wording about the weather