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A tour of America's national parks

By: Catie Leary on Dec. 18, 2009, 10:53 a.m.
Cave mouth foot entrance to Carlsbad Caverns

Photo: w_miller/Flickr

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Carlsbad Caverns

The out-of-this-world rock formations of Carlsbad Caverns National Park prompted none other than Will Rogers to declare the caverns “the Grand Canyon with a roof on it.”

This New Mexico wonder was discovered by a 16-year-old cowboy who mistook the famous daily parade of bats for smoke, and visitors have been fascinated with the caves ever since. In fact, chambers continue to be discovered to this day.