Carlsbad Caverns

As you pass through the Chihuahuan Desert and Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico and west Texas—filled with prickly pear, chollas, sotols and agaves—you might never guess there are more than 300 known caves beneath the surface. The park contains 113 of these caves, formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone, creating some of the largest caves in North America. While there are a variety of cave tours available—from the self-guided areas of the Big Room to crawling through narrow passageways in the Hall of the White Giant or in Spider Cave—there are also opportunities for hiking and backcountry camping.

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