Photo: Left Hand Tunnel

Carlsbad Caverns National Park Tours, NM

Left Hand Tunnel

Cave Tour
2 hr. 00 min.


Please pick up your tickets at the Visitor Center Ticket Desk 30 minutes prior to tour time. Meet in the Underground Rest Area 15 minutes prior to tour time. An entrance fee of $10.00 is required in addition to a tour ticket. All applicable passes will be honored for entrance. TICKET AGES: Adult: 16 years and over. Child: 6-15 years. Children under six years of age are not allowed. The age limit is strictly enforced.
Tours cannot be reserved less than 48 hours prior to the start of the tour. All tours within the 48 hour period are sold on site on a first come first served basis.
Ticket Availability


Tour Description

Moderately strenuous. This is a historic candle-lit lantern tour through an undeveloped section of the cave on unpaved trails. The dirt trail winds over uneven surfaces with some steep, slippery slopes. Careful footing is required to navigate on steep and slippery slopes, around cavern pools and fragile formations. Not recommended for anyone who has difficulty seeing in dim-lit or candle-lit conditions. Lanterns are provided. Sturdy closed-toed shoes or hiking boots required. No backpacks. Tour departs from the Visitor Center.

Tours are offered daily at 1:30 PM except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Sorry, children under 6 years of age are not allowed on this tour.

Tour Details

  • Duration: 2 hr. 00 min.
  • Distance: 0.5 miles
  • Number of Steps: 0
  • Accessible: No
  • Effort: Moderately difficult

Know Before You Go

Visitor Center Operational Hours: Winter hours are from Labor Day until Memorial Day weekend, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Summers hours are from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sturdy walking shoes are required. Participants are required to have a general admission and a tour ticket. Backpacks are not allowed on this tour. Walking sticks or canes are not allowed on this tour. TICKET AGES: Adult - 16 years and over. Child - 6-15 years. Children under six years of age are not allowed. Prices for Interagency Senior and Access pass holders are for those pass holders only. All others must purchase a separate full priced ticket.

Reserved tickets must be picked up no later than 10 minutes prior to the posted tour starting time. Tickets will not be issued if within 10 minutes of the start of any tour. No refunds for late arrivals.


There is no handicap accessibility on this tour.


Restrooms are located in the Visitor Center and in the cavern Underground Lunchroom. There are no restroom opportunities during the tour. There is a restaurant in the Visitor Center as well as limited food available in the cavern Underground Lunchroom. Book store and gift shops are located in the Visitor Center. Kennel Services are available.


Visitors arrive by way of U.S. Highway 62/180 from either Carlsbad, NM (23 miles to the northeast) or El Paso, TX (150 miles to the west). A scenic 7 mile entrance road leads from Whites City to the Visitor Center and cavern entrance.

Note: Some Tours may be available only from the Tour Park on a first-come-first-served basis. Arrival dates earlier than the online-reservation-window may also be available at the Tour Park.
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