There are a lot of cave systems in the area of the park. This may be obvious when you think of the area as volcanic and thus having lava tubes, but the close availability of large entrances and dry areas that people can go into for quite a few feet is kind of rare to us. We are not saying this is a safe sport for anyone to go barrelling into a cave and think all will be well. We showed up with helmets, headlamps, backup flashlights, batteries, walkie talkies, etc. We are not huge spelunkers by any sense of the imagination, but we do appreciate a minor decent into a wide open space only a few steps from the road.
After talking with the park rangers, we decided on Junction Cave. We would spend about an hour investigating and then do the hike out to El Calderon. It would make for a simple afternoon plan following the hot and strenuous Zuni-Acoma Trail. It was slightly slick because of the cool dampness so we took our time descending the bouldery staircase into the narrowing earth. Armed with cameras, we hoped for bats, but alas, we were at least able to get a few photos of the rock and of ourselves peering into the blackness. it was a really nice soft adventure for caving, though we never underestimate the danger of the combination of damp, steep, rock, and my clumsiness. With only a developing bruise and two scrapes (different incidents - one going down and one coming up) we scrambled back into the overwhelming brightness of the afternoon sun. What a treat this adventure was!