Travelling through the Guadalupe Mountain Range one has no idea of the wonder that lies beneath: over 100 limestone caves formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone.
Carlsbad is the largest of the caves and you can visit without any fear of claustrophobia. It’s big room is 4,000 feet wide, 625 feet long, and 255 feet high and chock full of spectacular limestone formations. It is the third largest chamber in North America and the seventh largest in the world.
There is an elevator you can take down, but the better way is to walk down the long and steep natural entrance if your knees can take it. The path is 1 mile long and descends 750 feet on switchbacks. Along the way you can view the many stalactites and stalagmites before you get to the big room. After you finish your tour you can take the elevator back up to the top.
Here are a few of the more distinct formations:
Photographing in the cave is not an easy task. It is generally very dark which means you require a tripod. There are lights along the way and inside the caves which tend to cause hot spots. While photographing I tried to exclude any of these hotspots from the frame except in the case of the temple of the sun where there was a nice silhouette.
The exposures tend to be brighter than the cave actually was so in post processing I used Nik Color Efex Pro to emphasize the dark contrasts.