Find yourself deep in the Southwest in spring and you’ll enjoy the mild weather, perfect for this trio of parks.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
The expression "a little bit goes a long way" can be applied to lots of items, and that's certainly the case when it comes to lint. A small pile of the fluffy stuff may merely be an annoyance at home, but the amount of lint left behind by nearly 400,000 annual visitors to the caves at Carlsbad Caverns National Park can add up to a real problem
A little curiosity by a pair of cavers turned a fairly routine evening's project at Carlsbad Caverns National Park into an exciting adventure for the duo. Their original assignment on October 31—surveying to help complete a new map of the Big Room—led to the discovery of the largest new "room" in the cave in decades.
For the next three months, Guadalupe Mountains and Carlsbad Caverns national parks in New Mexico and Texas will share a superintendent.
Sooner or later we'll once again be able to enjoy visits to parks around the country, and while we're waiting, we can start to compile a list of potential activities in NPS areas. If you'd enjoy a challenging, ranger-guided trip into a section of "wild" cave, the Spider Cave Tour at Carlsbad Caverns National Park may be just what you've been looking for.
Google Maps has become a useful electronic option to paper maps for many people, and one feature of that site—"Street View"—allows users to see a ground-level, 360 degree photographic view of many locations around the world. Now that service is adding parts of some national parks, including the Grand Canyon and even one rather surprising location that lies beneath the ground.
On the Desert's Edge is a book for all those who cherish wild places. It is a collection of anecdotal essays, poetry and photos by Dale Pate and Ron Kerbo, present and former National Park Service cave specialists who have 36 years of combined experience living, working, and exploring in and around Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks.
There are some historic features in the National Park System we just can't walk through in person, such as the remains of the Civil War gunboat USS Cairo at Vicksburg National Military Park. Now, thanks to some high-tech wizardry, anyone can take an animated "fly-through" and explore the interior of the ship—or five other historic locations around the country.
Just in case I wasn’t aware that I very badly need to do more birding in the Southwest, a copy of Birding the Southwestern National Parks by former Park Service employee Roland Wauer arrived in my mailbox. Now I find myself checking plane fare to Las Vegas, El Paso, and Los Angeles. This may be one of the most expensive book reviews I’ve ever written.
While white-nose syndrome continues to plague bats in the country's cave systems, there nevertheless are quite a few underground tours you can take in the National Park System, tours that not only will show off these unique resources but also provide education on the disease.NPS-National Park Cave Tours.pdf