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Carlsbad Caverns National Park was designated as a National Monument on October 25, 1923. The Park protects about seventy square miles of Chihuahuan desert in southern New Mexico.

Carlsbad Cavern
Image: NPS.

However, it's the underground portion of the Park that attracts the greatest interest. The main cave has more than 30 miles of mapped passages full of spectacular formations. At dusk during warmer months, visitors can watch hundreds of thousands of bats emerge from the cave, heading out in search of food.