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The Big Room

The Big Room tour starts here. It is just off from the underground cafeteria, and rest rooms.

This tunnel hardly seems to qualify as a big room; but things open up quite a bit, further down.

This is a wet cave, so all of the surfaces are highly decorated and textured. Carlsbad is one of the most elaborately featured caves in the world.

The park is attempting to be as protective of these amazing caverns as possible. There are handrails, and paths, and visitors are strictly admonished to stay on the paths.

A view of some of the highly textured cave walls. There area hidden lights all over the developed parts of the caverns.

The Spires visible across the open are are known, collectively, as the New York City skyline. To the right, outside the view of the photo, is the path from the Natural Entrance.

Some cavers, with mining lanterns on their heads. These visitors are about to go on one of the wild cave tours. They will be taken down a hole in the caverns to one of the wild portions of the cave, in this case, the lower caverns.

Some large columns, stalactites, and stalagmites. A narrow ledge offers a base for a walkway, off to the right. The path winds it's way through several large connected chambers. The sheer size and variety of the place is remarkable.

A pair of visitors stands before what appears to be a liquid wall of rock. There are many such structures formed by the constant slow deposit of saturated water.

A closer view of the wall.

A look out towards the edges of this particular chamber, form the pathway. These caves were formed by a weak acid solution, as the land rose through the water table.

We look at some of the intricately structured deposits, in one or the caves between the big rooms.

The colors are varied, and often incredible; but the park service advises that there are no colored lights down here. The colors seen are the colors of the formations.

A look across one of the expansive chambers, with various  nooks, and inner caves.

Visitors, passing through one of the highly decorated side passages, look like flitting ghosts, in this long exposure photo.

Heading toward the Hall of the Giants, along a path carved into one of the ledges of this part of the cavern.

Stalactites, cave popcorn, and flowstone formations decorate one of the side chambers.

A series of ominous formations rise from the floor, and loom over us. They seem to watch, and some even seem to greet us, with toothy grins.,

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