Carlsbad Caverns By Syra and sarah

About the Cavern

The cavern was announced as National Monument by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923, and then in 1930 Carlsbad Caverns National Park was established.The Carlsbad Caverns form one of the world's oldest cave systems, and according to National Park Service statistics, receive around 300,000 visitors per year. The caverns lie approximately 27 miles from the city of Carlsbad in the Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, beneath the Chihuahuan Desert. Donation and federal funding help keep the park going.

How they were Created and Discovered

The Guadalupe Mountains were formed around 20 million years ago when tectonic activity forced a gigantic limestone reef to rise from an inland sea. Over time, sulfuric acid ate away at the rocks, creating caves and underground passageways. Later, rainwater trickled into the caverns, leaving mineral deposits on the walls, floors and ceilings. These deposits eventually built up into rock formations such as stalactites and stalagmites. Although Indian settlers almost certainly discovered the caverns, local cowboy Jim White is credited with exploring them. He first descended underground as a teenager in 1898, using a home-made wire ladder, but it was over 10 years before he could interest anyone else in his discovery. Early visitors descended to the caves via an old mining bucket

The Region

In total the park 46,766 acres, which include the caverns and the surrounding forest. The limestone caves create stalagmites and stalactites, which the cavern is know for, The climate is cool and dry during the winter. Hot and wet during the summer. Cave climate is cool and varies little from the average 56 degrees F. The elevations within the park rise from 3,595 ft. in the lowlands to 6,520 ft. atop the escarpment. There are scattered wood lands in higher elevations. The park is primarily a variety of grasslands and desert shrub land habitats. Wildlife consists of : black bears, cougars, ground squirrels, bats, kangaroo rats, etc. 67 species of mammals (including 17 species of bats), 357 species of birds, 55 species of reptiles and amphibians, 5 species of fish, and an incomplete list of over 600 species of insects. Vegetation consists of: club mosses and spike mosses, fern(12), cypress(4), pine(4), carrots(8), dogbane(2), milkweed(14), sunflowers(over 90), barberry(3), birch(1), cactus(25), honeysuckle(4), etc.

The Rules of the Park

While in the backcountry of Carlsbad Caverns National Park, please observe these Leave No Trace priciples:

Stay on established trails—short-cutting and cliff-climbing is dangerous and causes erosion.

Human waste should be deposited (not buried) at least 300 feet from any cave, trail, or water source.

Pack out all trash—your own and any you find, including toilet paper.

Camp at least 300 feet away from any cave entrance, road, trail, or water source. Be sure you are out of sight and sound of these areas, as well.

Campfires are not permitted within the park boundaries. Use a containerized fuel stove instead.

There are no vehicle or RV camping areas in the park. Overnight parking and/or camping is not permitted in any parking lot or other developed area.

Do not clear soil or vegetation, or dig trenches around tents.

Pets are not permitted on park trails or in the backcountry.

Have an up-to-date trail guide or map with topographic lines.

Events and Fun things to Do

The Junior Ranger program teaches children about the park's surface and underground resources. Younger children will color and draw, and find objects in a visual scavenger hunt as part of the Jr. Ranger program. Older children will complete word searches, and write stories and poems. The Junior Ranger booklet is available at the Visitor Information desk. There are many natural resources in this park. Therefore, the need to preserve it. Without preservation, all of these nature made wonders will be destroyed.

Credits:

Created with images by m01229 - "Luray Caverns - mirror lake" • Greyerbaby - "ruby falls tennessee tourist attraction" • bensonk42 - "Carlsbad Caverns"

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