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Help save our bats: Due to the spread of White-Nose Syndrome, a deadly disease affecting hibernating bats, visitors are asked to clean their gear before entering Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park Tours, NM

part ofCarlsbad Caverns National Park, National Park Service

Overview:

Beneath the rugged desert, rocky slopes and deep canyons that make up Carlsbad Caverns National Park, lies an underground treasure including more than 117 known caves.

Carlsbad Caverns, tucked underneath the scenic Guadalupe Mountain ranges in the Chihuahuan Desert of southeastern New Mexico and West Texas, contains some of the largest and most visited caves in America.

The Guadalupe Mountains are an uplifted portion of ancient reef, which thrived along the edge of an inland sea more than 250 million years ago. Preserved in the rocks are the ancient bodies of sponges, algae, snails, nautilus and more.

That same fossil reef also formed the caves beneath the surface. Over time, sulfuric acid dissolved into surrounding limestone, creating stunning rock formations jetting down from the cave ceilings. More than 300,000 visitors travel to Carlsbad Caverns each year for a rare glimpse of the underground worlds preserved beneath the desert.

Visitors to the caverns may choose to hike the steep and strenuous 1.25 mile paved trail into the cave's natural entrance or take a short, one-minute elevator ride from the Visitor's Center down into the caves.

For those seeking a more adventurous cave experience, there are several ranger-guided tours to choose from.

Tours at Carlsbad Caverns range from relatively easy strolls to physically strenuous and mentally challenging Wild Cave Adventures. Visitors are encouraged to review the tour details before making a reservation.

Know Before You Go:

  • Food, drinks, chewing gum and tobacco products are not permitted
  • Hiking poles and walking sticks are not allowed inside the caves
  • Medically prescribed canes are permitted in the Natural Entrance, Big Room and King's Palace Tour
  • Strollers are not permitted
  • Flash photography is permitted in the cave, but tripods may only be used in the Big Room and Main Entrance
  • Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended; high heels, flip flops and other sandals are not permitted
  • Caves are 56 degrees year-round; visitors should bring a sweater or light jacket
  • Reservations are not needed to visit the self-guided portion of the cavern
  • For tour hours and availability, please click on the Tour List tab above
  • Learn more about White-nose syndrome, a disease caused by a fungus that is threatening cave-hibernating bat populations in our national parks.
  • 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.

Getting There:

From U.S. Highway 62/180, turn left onto Carlsbad Cavern Highway/NM-7. Follow for about seven miles to the visitor center.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

727 Carlsbad Caverns Highway
Carlsbad  NM  88220

Phone Number:

Information:  (575) 785-2232
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