Camping at Carlsbad Caverns National Park
“Where are we camping tonight?” my bro asked. He met me in Texas a few days ago to join me for a portion of my trip. I’m all about my solo travel, but it sure was nice to nap and wake up 100 miles closer to my destination: in this case, Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
“I figured we’d just camp at the National Park.”
“You sure they have camping there?”
“ALL national parks have camping,” I replied confidently.
As it turns out, all US national parks DO NOT have camping: there is no camping at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, for example. Oops.
The little old man at the general store explained that it is very rare for a national park to not have camping, but due to the nature of the caves, it would be unsafe and / or impossible to get plumbing set up in an area with cavernous holes under it. There was, of course, a campsite near the entrance to the park and he would be happy to set that up for us.
The man gave us a map of the park, and answered all our questions. He gave us fair warning that the elevator in the park was broken. I assured him we were young (ish) and fit and we could climb out of the cave on our own two feet. Great guy.
It was still only like 6:00 p.m., but being winter now, it was already dark and getting cold. I expected New Mexico to be hot and sunny even in the dead of winter, but we actually saw snow today during part of our drive though, so I’m supposing my assumption to be false at this point.
We set up camp, my bro lit a bomb bonfire and we drank cocoa and chatted for hours. As seems to be a theme with me, we were the only people at the tent portion of the campsite that night.
We hit the hay a bit early to be ready for the big cave tour in the morning!