Sunday morning I was up early and drove on out to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The drive into the park is up a lovely canyon where there was plenty of yucca and cactus. Along the way to Carlsbad Caverns, I stopped to hike a short trail to a cave that was once used as a shelter by Native Americans.
The drive through Carlsbad Caverns National Park to the entrance to Carlsbad Caverns is about 5 miles. I didn't realize how much altitude was gained going up the canyon until arriving at the Caverns - the entrance is on top of a mountain.