Take a look at the splendor of the volcanic activity that has made caves and then explores others created by ancient civilizations using primitive tools. The beauty of New Mexico & it’s caverns and caves can be enjoyed by all looking for a simple trek beneath the earth or for those who love long hikes in remote areas. While the main attractions in these caves are in the caves, you can also delight in exploring the surrounding landscapes above ground and visiting towns nearby in New Mexico.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park – New Mexico
This national park in New Mexico, close to the town of Carlsbad, hosts the state’s most famous Bat Flight Amphitheater. From spring to autumn, take in the breathtaking show as Brazilian free-tailed bats depart the cave at sunset each day to search for insects. The group returns just before dawn and dives to the bottom of the cavern. There are over 100 caves located in the park, and visitors can explore several of them on their own or through ranger-led excursions. The park’s highlight is picking between two paths. An easy 45 minutes hike or the longer option of 90 minutes that will take you to the most popular spot in the park, known as The Big Room. It is awe-inspiring to see underground formations and artifacts like rope ladders dating to the 1920s.
El Malpais National Monument
In the small town of Grants, visit the caves to observe the formations, vegetation, and bats that were once collapsed lava tubes. To enter five caves accessible to visitors, you’ll have to get a permit for free at the visitor center. You must be equipped with the appropriate equipment, which includes hiking boots with a helmet, flashlights, and helmet gloves. The caves’ passages range from challenging. You’ll need to traverse over boulders and squeeze into narrow passageways up to moderate, and reflectors indicate the way. Nearby, you can visit the old Ice Caves Trading Post store and museum. Then, walk in shades of juniper Ponderosa pines, and first, order to reach the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano, which is called “The Land of Fire and Ice.” Get cool in the cave, which is always brisk and steady at zero degrees C.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument New Mexico
One of the very few locations where visitors are allowed to go inside the cliff dwellings in this park is located in The Gila National Forest and Gila Wilderness. It is about 1.5 hours away from Silver City. Take a trail that loops around to wooden and rock stairs that lead to caves that served as homes for nomad Mogollon Pueblo Culture and date up to the late 1200s. Explore the walls they constructed inside their caves and enjoy the panoramas of the Canyon below. After exploring the caves in New Mexico, take 20 minutes of walking from the visitor’s center to take an enjoyable and relaxing soak at The Lightfeather Hot Spring.
Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument
The sprawling wilderness of the mountains – comprising those of the Organ, Sierra, and East Potrillo mountains. These are located about 30 minutes to the east of Las Cruces. That is home to some of the most famous caves in history Geronimo’s Cave and La Cueva Rock Shelter. Ancient civilizations resided here over the volcanic fields that once flowed with lava. Look at the petroglyphs carved long ago on the canyon walls, inside caves where people from the past lived, and later outlaws hid, and look for old towns among more than 250 archeological sites.
Bandelier National Monument
Take a drive of about an hour from Santa Fe to breathtaking mesa and canyon landscapes covering more than 13,300 acres. Discover petroglyphs, petroglyphs, and cave dwellings made of hand-made walls along the Main (Pueblo) Loop Trail. The oldest homes were constructed close to the bottom of the canyons with volcanic blocks made of tuff. Other caves are called cavities. They have walls and rooms within. They were created from canyons by Ancestral Pueblo people around 850 years ago. The best way to visit the park is to follow the famous Tyuonyi Overlook Trail. Especially on a hike led by a ranger that takes you across the mesa. The views from the canyon are breathtaking. There’s the site of a shrine, native vegetation, and the remains of rooms that once housed Ancestral Puebloans.