With a floor space equal to about 14 football fields, this subterranean focal point of Carlsbad Caverns clues visitors in to just how large the caverns really are. The White House could fit in one corner of the Big Room, and wouldn't come close to grazing the 255-foot ceiling. Entrance can be accessed by elevator or, for the moderately fit with about an hour to spare, through the Natural Entrance and a 1.25-mile descending trail. Either way, at 750 feet below the surface
you will connect with the self-guided 1.25-mile Big Room loop, a relatively level, paved pathway through the almost hallucinatory wonders of various formations and decorations. You also get a layman's lesson on how the cave was carved. An audio guide is available from the visitor center bookstore for a few dollars. Kids under 15 are admitted for free. Even in summer, long pants and long-sleeved shirts are advised for cave temperatures in the mid-50s.
Visitor Center, 727 Carlsbad Caverns Hwy., Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, 88220, United States