Carlsbad Caverns Wiki
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The Texas Toothpick is one of many formations you'll see on the Lower Cave Tour in Carlsbad Cavern.

In 1924, National Geographic expedition members wrote about the wonders of Lower Cave. Visitors today can see the evidence left behind from these and other explorers. Highlights of this tour include The Rookery, with countless nests of cave pearls, the Colonel Boles Formation, and an incredible diversity of cave formations that compete for your attention almost everywhere you look. A strenuous descent of sixty feet of ladders and a knotted rope at the tour entrance sometimes causes participants to back out.

Lower Cave Tour[]

The 3-hour long Lower Cave Tour may be just what adventurous souls are seeking when they head toward Carlsbad Caverns National Park. This tour is something of a trek, involving traversing tough terrain to see some of the most beautiful sights in the park. This tour will have guests straining to the end of the lights to see the incredible features found at these levels of the caverns. There are some basic requirements for participating in this tour. Good footwear is required. High-quality tennis shoes will suffice but sturdy hiking boots are highly recommended. Four AA batteries are required. Visitors must wear gloves of leather or cotton on this tour.

The Rookery will no doubt be one of the most easily-remembered features visitors will find. The site is the home of numerous cave pearls. The formations along most of this journey, however, are something to see. Visitors may find themselves having a hard time deciding what to train their lights on during this tour. Colonel Boles is another famous waypoint along this expedition. The Texas Toothpick is a huge hanging formation which resembles its namesake. This route was written about by explorers from National Geographic as early as the 1920’s. The challenges along this tour may be too much for some.

Visitors will have to descend ladders along this tour. Some participants find themselves unable to perform this part of the journey and back out at this point. Remember that it’s better to admit one’s limitations than to push one’s limits in a cave environment. An alternative to this tour, which has many of the same types of features, is the Left Hand Tunnel. Those who have a fear of heights will find that tour far preferable to the Lower Cave Tour, due to the ladders on the Lower Cave Tour route.

This tour is $20 for adults. Children pay half rate. Only children 12 and over are able to go on this tour due to the demanding nature of the hike. Those who fear that their balance or physical ability may not be up to the task should not take this tour. There are very fragile formations that visitors must avoid and some of the terrain is dangerous to those who cannot handle physical challenges. This tour does require reservations. The tour is available from Monday through Friday and departs at 1pm from the visitor center.More Carlsbad Cavern Tours Available Tours Click a tour below for more information