We drove to Carlsbad this morning and got to the caverns shortly after noon. We walked to “Big Room” which we had not done last year. It was not too crowded for a Friday afternoon. The elevator means that the crowd comes in waves, so you can usually wait a few minutes for a group to pass you.
I took several photos that turned out well. Near the end of the loop of the Big Room, I came across a tour of the lower cave that was ascending back to the normal path. This tour of about 12 people requires a certain amount of spelunking. I took a couple of photos before a ranger came over and asked me not to take pictures. Not sure why. (You know, you can click on the photo collages on this blog to see a slightly larger version.)