Carlsbad Caverns To Hold "Bat Flight Breakfast"
CARLSBAD – Carlsbad Caverns National Park will hold the 56th annual Bat Flight Breakfast on Saturday, July 20, 2013, beginning at 4:30 a.m. Visitors are invited to meet in the Bat Flight Amphitheater to await the return of Mexican free-tailed bats to the cave. Most bats will have returned to the cave by 6 a.m.
Breakfast is served by the Carlsbad Caverns Trading restaurant beginning at 4:30 a.m. The cost of breakfast is $7 and includes a breakfast burrito (meat or vegetarian), choice of fruit, yogurt parfait, and a beverage. This year visitors can carry their breakfast with them to the Bat Flight Amphitheater. The Bat Flight Breakfast event is free; the only cost is for participants who wish to purchase breakfast.
The first 120 event participants will receive free tickets for one of two guided lantern-lit tours of the cave, at 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. These special tours of the Main Corridor route of Carlsbad Cavern involve a strenuous hike and participants must be physically able to hike down steep inclines for more than an hour. Participants on the Main Corridor tours will also receive free entry into Carlsbad Cavern for the day.
Throughout the Bat Flight Breakfast park rangers will be available to answer questions. Carl S. Bat, Carlsbad Caverns’s mascot, also will make a special appearance at the event. At 7:00 a.m. park rangers will demonstrate rappelling and rope climbing techniques over the mouth of the cave.
The Bat Flight Breakfast began in 1957 as a way to encourage visitors to see the bats’ morning return flight. In contrast to the sight at dusk of bats spiraling upwards, gradually rising, in the morning, the bats look like specks as they circle several hundred feet overhead and then dive in clusters into the cave entrance. While the park’s bat population this year is reduced because of drought conditions, there are still potentially thousands of bats to be observed.
Overnight parking and car or RV camping are prohibited within the park. For a complete list of recreational opportunities available at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, call (575) 785-2232 or visit www.nps.gov/cave.