For six exciting years Doug Thompson worked as a park ranger at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. In Underground Ranger he passes along the essence of what he learned on this unusual job and in his related adventures exploring the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert. He overcame his fear of tight spaces and heights, learned to climb rope, and went on to explore many of the deep vertical caves in the Guadalupe Mountains of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico--including Lechuguilla Cave, one of the most spectacular underground wonders of the world. He even became a member of the park's technical rescue team and made a fifty-story rappel into one of the deepest underground pits in the United States. In visceral detail, Thompson shares the physical and mythical stories of caves and shows what it's like to experience the extravagant beauty of nature's underground realm.