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

Carlsbad Caverns National Park Tours, NM

King's Palace

Cave Tour
1 hr. 30 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: 4-15 years. Children under four years of age are not allowed. The age limit is strictly enforced. Last King's Palace tour of day: For those wishing to take the Big Room self-guided tour in addition to a King's Palace tour, it is recommended to take the self-guided tour first as there may not be enough time to take the Big Room self-guided tour after the last King's Palace tour of the day.
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

If you are looking for a relatively easy ranger led tour, this is the one for you. You start the tour in the Underground Lunchroom just beyond the elevator lobby where you will meet your ranger. You then walk through the Big Room a short distance to the entrance to the King's Palace. You will descend a total of 80 feet (24 m) on a paved trail. This tour is a leisurely stroll through a variety of highly decorated chambers. Your ranger will take you on a journey into the past, telling stories of Carlsbad Caverns "discovery" to 250 million years ago when the geologic story of the cave began. As part of the tour you will experience what all caves really look like without our artificial light. As you sit in the dark you will gain an understanding of what a world completely devoid of all light is like while you experience a heightening of your other senses. Flash photography is welcome, however for safety reasons, no tripods please.

Tour times change throughout the year, but are offered daily except December 25.
Sorry, children under 4 years of age are not allowed on this tour.

Tour Details

  • Duration: 1 hr. 30 min.
  • Distance: 1 miles
  • Number of Steps: 15
  • Accessible: No
  • Effort: Moderately easy

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. It is recommended to take the Big Room self-guided tour before the 2:00pm King's Palace tour. Participants are required to have a general admission and a tour ticket. Long sleeves or a light jacket recommended. TICKET AGES: Adult: 16 years and over. Child: 4-15 years. Children under four 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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