Thursday, April 27, 2017

Goat Cave, New Mexico

Will Boekel (close), Tony Canike (middle), and Wayne Perkins (far) in the entrance of Goat Cave.  December 2017.

          Goat Cave is a large cave in the middle of Slaughter Canyon in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.  As with all backcountry park caves, one needs a permit to enter.  The entrance is very large, over 50ft in diameter.  It opens into a large and dry trunk passage about a thousand feet long and ranging from 50 to 200ft wide and 60 to 150ft tall.  A side passage has some dry formations in it, and the cave has an upper entrance with a roughly 60ft free drop.  The back end of the cave has a large area of popcorn covered stalagmites. 

           Goat Cave was named because of the large amounts of goat poop that was burned in the entrance.  Thus the entrance of the cave has a thick layer of dusty, burned, goat poop.  Beyond this, in the twilight zone, is an area heavily coated in cave swallow poop.  Finally, the end of the cave is heavily covered in bat guano.  Have fun.

Wayne Perkins (near), Tony Canike (middle), and Eric Pelkey (in daylight) in the main trunk of Goat Cave.
Hope Brooks by popcorn covered stalagmites and bat guano in Goat Cave.

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