Photo: Carlsbad Caverns National Park Tours Photo: Carlsbad Caverns National Park Tours

Carlsbad Caverns National Park Tours, NM

Lower Cave

Cave Tour
3 hr. 00 min.


Please pick up your tickets at the Visitor Center Ticket Desk 30 minutes prior to tour time. Meet in the visitor demonstration 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. Backpacks are not allowed on this tour. TICKET AGES: Adult:16 years and over. Child:12-15 years. Children under 12 years of age are not allowed. The age limit is strictly enforced.
Ranger Guided Tours
  • Reservations are highly recommended for all ranger guided tours as they fill up fast and there is no guarantee there will be any tickets available at the park.
  • There is an additional fee for the ranger led tours.
  • Read the descriptions of the cave tours. Many are physically and mentally demanding.
  • On the more challenging tours, all safety equipment - helmets, headlamps, gloves and kneepads - will be provided by the park. No personal caving equipment will be allowed on any of the Ranger Guided tours in an effort to reduce the chances of spreading the deadly disease, White-nose Syndrome to the bats at Carlsbad Caverns.
  • You are required to supply four new AA batteries for any tour requiring a headlamp.
    Cave Adventure Tours: For the more adventurous visitors, Carlsbad Caverns offers a variety of truly "wild" cave tours. With no trails and no electric lights, these cave adventures offer the visitor an opportunity to go beyond the world of spelunking into the world of true caving.

    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

    In 1924, a National Geographic expedition wrote about the wonders of Lower Cave. Today Visitors can see these wonders for themselves as well as evidence from early explorations. This exciting adventure begins with a 10 foot (3 m) decent down smooth flowstone using a knotted rope. Your journey continues down another 50 feet (17 m) on a series of three steep ladders. From there you continue past clear pools, cave pearls and a myriad of exceptional cave formations. This trip is not for anyone who is afraid of heights, enclosed spaces or darkness. The trail is wet or muddy in many places, making it extremely slippery. But for the prepared, a trip into Lower Cave is a unique and breathtaking experience.

    Tours are offered Sunday's, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 8:30 am. Park is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.
    Sorry, children under 12 years of age are not allowed on this tour.

    Tour Details

    • Duration: 3 hr. 00 min.
    • Distance: 1 miles
    • Number of Steps: 39
    • Accessible: No
    • Effort: 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. 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. Participants must bring: 4 AA Batteries, Sturdy closed-toed tennis shoes or hiking boots, Bandanas are recommended for under the helmet. TICKET AGES: Adult: 16 years and over. Child: 12-15 years. Children under 12 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.

    If participants are taking more than one adventure tour, Lower Cave, Hall of the White Giant and Spider Cave tours, clothing and gear used on one tour must be cleaned before used on another tour. If clothing or gear is not clean, participation in any tour may not be allowed.

    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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