Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a United States National Park in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico. Most people come to the park to see the Carlsbad caverns. Visitors to the cave can hike in on their own through the natural entrance, or take the elevator directly to the Underground Lunchroom, which is 230 m below the ground.
Stone “icicles” which hang from the roof and walls of some caves are called stalactites. The ones that rise out of the floor are called stalagmites. You can remember which way a stalagmite grows by remembering that it is harder to climb up than climb down so the stalagmite MIGHT grow up out of the floor.
Hall of Giants — Big Room Route This is the largest chamber in Carlsbad Caverns, its floor space equals roughly 14 football fields.
Stalagmites and stalactites build up when water drips through rocks in a cave roof. These rocks contain mineral deposits. With each drip, the water evaporates, leaving the minerals hanging on the cave roof like an icicle, creating the stalactite. Sometimes, before evaporating, the water from stalactites drips onto the cave floor and builds a column of calcite from the floor up, creating a stalagmite.
Colonel Boles Formation — Lower Cave Tour In some cases, the stalactites and stalagmites grow to meet each other, join, and form a column. You can see in this photo that a stalactite and stalagmite have grown together to form a column.