Carlsbad Cavern Visitors Waiting Over an Hour for Elevator
The project to replace the structural steel in the two main elevators at Carlsbad Cavern National Park is now looking at a completion date in late September.
Work began last September, with completion scheduled for May, before the busy season. Due to some unforeseen problems installing and treating the center beams, the work progress has been slowed.
As a result of these delays, visitors at high traffic times are now having to wait an hour or longer for a ride back to the surface on one of the smaller secondary elevators.
“We wish that the work had progresses as planned, and that visitors were not inconvenienced, but we won’t cut corners to make the job go faster. The goal is to ensure that the beams last for at least another 50 years and making sure we have quality work and materials will ensure that.” – John Benjamin, Park Superintendent to the Current-Argus
In order to reduce the number of folks waiting for a ride, the park is allowing people to hike the 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) out the natural entrance. During the 30 to 90 minute hike visitors gain about 244 meters (800 feet) of elevation. Because of the steep climb visitors are cautioned not to attempt the hike unless they have proper footwear and don’t have any health concerns.
For more information on the construction, or visiting the park, visit the Carlsbad Cavern National Park website.
NPS Photo by Peter Jones