Share:

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico

Start Exploring
Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Share:

Advertisement
  • Entrance into Carlsbad Caverns.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • The Big Room in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • The Big Room in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Hall of Giants in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Mirror Lake in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • The trail is well marked and easy to follow.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Stalactite and stalagmites in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • An old and abandoned ladder leading to the lower level in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Small stream by the Green Lake in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Incredible formations in Carlsbad Caverns.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Carlsbad Caverns.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Towering stalagmites in Carlsbad Caverns.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • The steep path into the entrance to the caverns.- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Large cave system. Many geological features.
Cons: 
Can get crowded.
Advertisement
Alerts: 
Park elevators are currently out of service for an undetermined length of time.
Region:
Guadalupe Mountains, NM
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Carlsbad Caverns is part of the Lechuguilla Cave system, which one of the largest in the world. Carlsbad Caverns National Park consists of over 119 caves and a lower level that has been mapped to a depth of 1,600 feet.

You can enter the cave through the Natural Entrance Hike or via the elevators. The Natural Entrance Hike is a strenuous 1.25-mile trek with an elevation change of 750 feet each way. Both the Natural Entrance Hike and the elevators end up in the Big Room, where you have the option to explore further or take a break in the lunch room. The Big Room Hike is a relatively easy 1.25-mile trail that loops through the main chambers and accessible areas of the cave system. There are also several ranger-led tours of varying difficulty and length. Some, such as the Spider Cave Tour, include climbing and crawling through small spaces.

Approximately 250 million years ago, Carlsbad Caverns and the surrounding area was the coastline of an inland sea. Scientists have found evidence of fossilized reefs from the Permian Period in the caverns. The park is also home to countless geological formations including stalagmites, columns, soda straws, draperies, and popcorn.

There are 17 species of bats that live in the park. The Brazilian free-tailed bats can be seen seasonally from April through November. The park hosts free bat flight programs, during which visitors see the bats emerge from the cave at sunset to look for food.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Adventures

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
45 Members
Who's Done It
58 Members
Submission by
Pro Contributor
64 Adventures Explored
48 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info