Cities Journal

Bat Lovers! You Have To See This

The bats don’t usually fly into the night on a strict schedule. However, the bat flight at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in southeastern New Mexico happens every evening around sunset from mid-April or May through late October or early November, after which they migrate to Mexico.

Watching large numbers of bats fly out of Carlsbad Cavern, the park’s namesake cave, for dinner is an impressive view. Even more impressive is the sight of the bats diving into the cavern from hundreds of miles, returning home around 4 to 6 a.m.

The cave is not open this early, but you can witness the return of the bats from outside. If that sounds too tame, pack up your gear and apply for a permit to explore the park’s many wild caves. This isn’t for novices, though: Prior climbing experience is necessary, and rangers may inspect your gear to make sure it passes tests.

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