Summer Activity In New Mexico
Mexican free-tail bat migration
by L. Bremner –

If you have time for a summer road trip to the southern portion of New Mexico, stop by Carlsbad Cavern National Park.  Every spring 400,000 Brazilian (aka Mexican) free-tail bats migrate to the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.  They hide in the Caverns during the day and as the sun starts to set they exit the caverns in droves to feed on insects.

NPS Photo by Nick Hristov.
NPS Photo by Nick Hristov.

The Carlsbad Caverns offers an evening bat program from Memorial Day through the end of September for visitors.  You need to call the park for the exact time as it changes with the time of sunset.  The bat program is free.

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.

You can take self-guided tours or you can reserve a space in one of the guided tours.  Call 1-877-444-6777 to make reservations. Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located just south of the Carlsbad Caverns.  You can visit both parks while you are in the area.

NOTEThe National Park Service’s third entrance fee free weekend of the summer is August 15-16, ’09.  All 391 national parks across the nation will offer free admission to all visitors.  Click here to read about fee free weekend.  *Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

Click here to view video about the Carlsbad Cavers and the bats exiting the caverns.

Click here to read more about the Carlsbad Caverns.


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