Our country is full of amazing geographical and geological sites and these two are worth checking out.
Because the weather was windy and cold, we didn’t get to fully explore the Guadalupe Mountains, but a quick stop at the visitor center provided the overview. These mountains are part of a huge coastal reef that was formed when this area was covered by the Delaware Sea. It’s truly hard to imagine this as you drive through the New Mexico desert, but it’s certainly amazing.
Since Carlsbad Caverns NP is only 30 or so miles away, we decided to skip our Guadalupe hike in favor of a less windy journey into the caverns. We arrived in the mid-afternoon, but since the elevator was out of commission, we barley made the 2:30 cut off for entering the caverns. We weren’t worried because we felt we could hike at a faster pace than most tourists and could certainly see a significant portion of the caverns. However, as we decended the trail our adventure was cut short and we were turned back by a ranger who claimed that it would take us the remainder of the day to climb back out of the cavern. We were back out by 3:30 and cursing the fat, slow tourists that set the bar so low in the first place. Anyway, we had plenty of time to enjoy the visitor center and educate ourselves and the kids about the amazing process that created the caverns.
With the nighttime temperature predicted to be 31 degrees and windy, we decided to head to Las Cruces for pizza and a hotel room.