Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Overview

Carlsbad Caverns National Park was established to preserve Carlsbad Cavern and numerous other caves within a Permian-age fossil reef. The park contains 83 separate caves, including the nation's deepest limestone cave -- 1,597 feet -- and third longest. Carlsbad Cavern, with one of the world's largest underground chambers and countless formations. It is also highly accessible, with a variety of tours offered year-round.

The evening flight of Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis mexicana) from the entrance of Carlsbad Cavern is one of the park's principal visitor attractions. Free-tailed bats are a colonial species that feed entirely on insects. The colony at Carlsbad is comprised primarily of females who give birth to their young from June through July before migrating south in October to winter in Mexico.

Explore The Park

Destinations and Photo Opportunities - There are many spectacular locations that will define your visit to the park and present some great photo opportunities.

Map and Weather - Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in in the Guadalupe Mountains of southern New Mexico along the Texas border. It is situated about 20 miles west of the Pecos River, which flows through Carlsbad (formerly Eddy), New Mexico, 25 miles northeast.

Park History - In 1923, Robert Holley, General Land Office, surveys and maps the cave, guided by Jim White and photographed by Ray Davis of Carlsbad. He recommends establishment as a national monument.

Cave Tours - Whether it's walking among beautiful cave formations in King's Palace or challenging yourself to a tight belly crawl in colorful Spider Cave, taking a ranger-guided cave tour can be an exciting experience. Carlsbad Caverns National Park offers numerous ranger-guided cave tours into areas other than the self-guided routes. Find out which tour is right for you more....

 

Off the Beaten Path

Bat Flight Program - Prior to the evening bat flight, a program is given in the outdoor amphitheater by a park ranger. The starting time of the talk varies with sunset times - please call the park and varify the program time (575.785.3012).

Hiking/Backpacking - The park has an incredible diversity of plants and animals. A short walk along any park trail provides enriching experiences for anyone willing to move away from the parking lots and buildings. Most of the trails are marked only by rock cairns (rocks piled or stacked into a noticeable heap), so we recommend using a topographic map.

 

Travel Tips

Maps and Weather Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in in the Guadalupe Mountains of southern New Mexico along the Texas border. It is situated about 20 miles west of the Pecos River, which flows through Carlsbad (formerly Eddy), New Mexico, 25 miles northeast.

Where to Stay - There are motels in Whites City and Carlsbad, NM with something for every taste and price range. For more information and a complete list. Click on city for Rates, availability and reservation on line Whites City and Carlsbad

Videos on the Park - We have made a video on the park. About 90 seconds long and give information and views of points of interest.

Reservations

Reservations are recommended for all guided cave tours, but are unnecessary for the basic self-guided tours of the Natural Entrance and Big Room. To make reservations for tours call 1.877.444.6777

Rules, Regulations, Precautions

  • Pets are not allowed in the amphitheater area, on park trails or in the backcountry..
  • Firearms and hunting are prohibited.
  • Camping is allowed in designated wilderness areas only.
  • There is no overnight vehicle or RV camping in the park.
  • Driving off established roads is prohibited.
  • Campfires are not permitted within the park.
  • You must pack out of the backcountry all trash.
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle.
  • Entering backcountry caves without written permission of the superintendent is prohibited.
  • Horse use is permitted only in designated areas.
  • Collecting, destroying, or defacing any cultural feature, mineral, plant, or wildlife is prohibited.
  • Flash photography is not permitted at all bat flights as it will disturb bats exiting and re-entering an important maternity roost.

 

Climate/Map | Description | Things To Do | Lodging/Camping | Nearby Resources

Visitor Center
3225 National Parks Highway
Carlsbad, NM 88220
505-785-2232.
E-Mail: cave_interpretation@nps.gov

 

      
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