Pictographs near the entrance to Carlsbad Caverns give evidence that Native Americans knew of the site 1,000 years ago, but it wasn’t until the 1880s that nearby settlers rediscovered the location and began mining it for bat guano to use as fertilizer. One of the miners, James Larkin White—who claimed to have discovered the cavern—explored the cave further and began giving tours lit by kerosene lanterns, lowering the curious to a depth of 170 feet (52 meters) in bat-guano buckets. White also guided early scientific expeditions into the caves, including a major reconnaissance conducted for the U.S. Geological Survey in 1924, the year after it was established as a national monument. It was designated a national park in 1930 and a World Heritage site in 1995. – Encyclopedia Britannica --
Early visitors had to use ladders, then wooden stairs, then a switchback ramp that took them 750 feet (230 m) below the surface to the Big Room, the largest single cave chamber by volume in North America. It measures almost 4,000 feet (1,220 m) long, 625 feet (191 m) wide, and 255 feet (78 m) high at its highest point. In 1932 the National Park Service opened a visitor center with two elevators to make the trip fast and easy, although far less interesting.
This 360 virtual visit allows easier access still. It gives you a taste of the otherworldly views you encounter during a self-guided tour. You will quickly appreciate why this is considered one of the best caves in the world. If you have a VR headset, use it with this tour for a truly immersive experience.
Music is by Glenn Harrold. Check out his extensive and mesmerizing collection on YouTube.
For more 360 interactive images and virtual tours visit the main Tour de Force 360 website.