More Elevator Woes at Carlsbad Caverns

Carlsbad Cavern Natural Entrance Route

Photo by Daniel Mayer/Wikipedia

Since September 2010, the two primary elevators that whisk visitors in and out of Carlsbad Caverns National Park have been out of service while a project is underway to replace important structural steel beams in their hoistway.

While the main elevators are unavailable smaller secondary elevators have been used to provide access to the cave. Now however, it has been discovered that these secondary elevators are also needing servicing.

Beginning on January 30th until March 8th, the availability of the remaining secondary elevators at Carlsbad Cavern will be limited to only a few hours per weekday while they undergo needed maintenance.

This leaves the Natural Entrance Route – a (1.25 mile) trail into the cave that descends (800 feet) – as the primary access to the cave. For most people the route takes between 30 and 90 minutes, each way.

During the maintenance, visitors on weekdays wanting to take an elevator into the cave should arrange their visit with the elevator schedule – 9:30 to 10:00 am, 12:30 to 1:30 pm. and 4:30 to 5:00 pm. Keeping in mind that the last time visitors may enter the cave via an elevator will be 1:30 pm, and the last time to enter via the Natural Entrance Route will be 2:30pm.

While the primary elevators remain out of service, visitors should expect long lines to take an elevator and plan for more time.

The primary elevators are expected to return to service sometime this spring.

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Comments (3)

  1. Chris
    January 25, 2012 at 2:31 am

    OMG, how on earth (!) can anyone possibly be expected to visit this cave if there’s no way in and out via an elevator? It’s a disaster, I tell you. A disaster.

    • Caving News
      January 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      The elevator will be run occasionally, and they did schedule it during the off season when less folks would be inconvenienced, but you’re right, there will likely be many unhappy people.

  2. Chris
    January 25, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Come to London and visit the amazing showcave network beneath the streets – it’s neat and tidy (mostly), with tiled walls and floors, lifts and escalators and electric trains connecting the various chambers together; there are shops and toilet facilities in numerous locations and the acoustics are awesome. By far the best and most user-friendly showcave in the world.

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