15 Best Things to do in Carlsbad Caverns National Park – You Won’t Want to Miss! | swnationalparks.com (2022)

15 Fun Things to do in Carlsbad Caverns NP

Carlsbad Caverns Attractions: There are so many fun things to do in Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. It is a great place to spend the day exploring.

15 Best Things to do in Carlsbad Caverns National Park – You Won’t Want to Miss! | swnationalparks.com (1)

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in southern New Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert. It has almost a hundred caverns. The Natural Entrance leads to the Carlsbad Cavern, which bears the same name. Stalactites cling to the roof of the cavern’s Big Room, a massive underground room. The Walnut Canyon Desert Loop is a scenic drive through the desert. Reptiles and hundreds of bird species flock to Rattlesnake Springs, a desert wetland.

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National Park Entrance Fees

To enter the National Parks, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee or have a National Parks Pass also known as American the Beautiful Pass.

15 Best Things to do in Carlsbad Caverns National Park – You Won’t Want to Miss! | swnationalparks.com (2)

It costs $80 for a yearly America the Beautiful Pass. This gives you access to all national parks and federal areas that charge fees. The America the Beautiful Pass is well worth it!

I purchased my first one in 2016 and it’s such a money-saver! Plus 10% of sale proceeds go to the National Park Foundation.

15 Things to do in Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

Explore Carlsbad Caverns

There are two ways to explore caverns. You have the option of walking the self-guided trails at your own pace or joining a ranger-led tour.

15 Best Things to do in Carlsbad Caverns National Park – You Won’t Want to Miss! | swnationalparks.com (3)

If you’re short on time, the self-guided underground trails of Carlsbad Caverns are the best option. Join a ranger-led tour if you want to “go deeper” into the caverns, learn more about the history and geology, or add more adventure to your visit.

The park contains over 300 known limestone caves, including some of the world’s biggest caves. Sulfuric acid, not carbonic acid, had a crucial part in the formation of the Guadalupe Mountains caves millions of years ago, according to geologists. When hydrogen sulfide from oil deposits and bacteria combines with oxygen over time, sulfuric acid occurs, forming unending mazes of narrow and massive pathways. When sulfuric acid dissolved limestone, gypsum was formed.

The beautiful speleothems, or cave formations, resemble the mouth of a whale. The Frozen Waterfall and The Eternal Kiss are two such natural formations. Devil’s Spring is a vast pool filled with stalactites, stalagmites, and columns formed by water dripping from the ceiling. The 200,000-ton Iceberg Rock serves as a barrier, with the trail winding above, around, and beneath it to reach the Big Room.

Bat Flight Program

Half a million Mexican Free-Tail Bats swarm from the Carlsbad Caverns entrance around nightfall for their nightly feeding. Check with the park ranger for the most up-to-date information on bat flight programs.

View the program from the Amphitheater at the natural entrance to the Carlsbad Caverns from Memorial Day Weekend until October. The program is free, and no reservations are required. Seating in the amphitheater is first-come, first-served. Electronic devices are not permitted unless a special usage permit has been secured at least two weeks in advance. The program’s start time changes as the summer advances and sunset times shift.

From the time the bats return from migration (typically mid-to-late April) until the Bat Flight Program begins Memorial Day weekend, you are welcome to witness the bats exit the cavern nightly at the outdoor Bat Flight Amphitheater.

The finest months to view bats are August and September when the baby bats born earlier in the summer start to join the evening flights. This is your greatest chance to view a large number of bats leaving the cave.

Big Room Trail

The Big Room is a massive limestone chamber that is over 4,000 feet long, 625 feet broad, and 255 feet tall at its highest point. It has a floor space of 357,469 square feet. It is North America’s fifth-largest chamber and the world’s 28th largest. This trail is paved and considered easy, with a one-mile section accessible to people in wheelchairs.

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A meandering loop track spans thousands of rock formations and beautiful sculptures on this trail. Helictites, stalagmites, stalactites, fossils, and much more can be discovered here. The rock formations are well-lit, adding to the site’s dramatic and captivating appearance. Expect to see massive limestone, towering stalagmites, and beautiful stalactites, and don’t forget to snap plenty of photographs.

You can either take the elevator straight down to the start of the Big Room Trail from the visitor center or stroll down from the natural entrance. It takes an hour and a half to walk the figure eight trail, which is roughly 1.25 miles long. You have the option of taking the shorter route where the figure-eight crosses. The Hall of Giants, Crystal Spring Dome, and Bottomless Pit are just a few of the stunning formations to see.

Walnut Canyon Desert Drive

Carlsbad Caverns National Park’s Walnut Canyon Desert Drive is just one of the park’s many magnificent features. The majority of visitors come to Carlsbad Caverns to simply explore a cave and possibly view bats, with no plans to go above ground.

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This 9-mile dirt road leads into the Chihuahuan Desert wilderness area, which is home to approximately 750 plants, 67 mammals, 17 bats, 357 birds, and 54 amphibian and reptile species.

The odd part is that individuals who take this road rarely encounter another park visitor the entire time, which is unusual in a National Park so close to a visitor center. This means that visitors who take the time to look around may be rewarded with serenity, spectacular sunsets, and a good possibility of seeing wildlife. Low clearance vehicles, RVs, and trailers are not permitted, so plan accordingly.

It’s a one-way gravel loop that starts at the top of the entrance drive and loops back to the entrance. Since the drive is only 9.5 miles long, you can take your time and enjoy the landscape and wildlife in the area.

Rattlesnake Springs

When traveling between Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Rattlesnake Springs is a great place to stop for a picnic. A little detour off the road will provide you with a refreshing break from the sun, surrounded with grass, trees, and a small spring. It’s an excellent area for viewing wildlife.

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The Upper Rattlesnake Canyon Trail is highly recommended for those looking for a longer and slightly more demanding trip. However, due to the rough terrain, driving here is harder than hiking. The trail takes 4 hours and 30 minutes to finish depending on your pace, and it emphasizes the area’s spectacular arches and canyons.

Lower Rattlesnake Canyon, on the other hand, is a moderate trail that starts about.25 miles (.4 km) past interpretive marker #4 on the magnificent Desert Loop Road. With a distance of 3 miles (4.8 km) and an elevation difference of 600 feet, the one-way travel time is about 3 hours (183 m).

A permit is required for overnight use. During business hours, permits are available for free at the visitor center.

The King’s Palace Tour

The King’s Palace is a section of the Caverns that contains the majority of the stalactites and stalagmites. To learn more about the significance of these cave formations, visitors usually take a guided tour of the King’s Palace. On this tour, you’ll take a stroll through the cave’s four naturally decorated chambers as a ranger explains the cave’s history and other interesting facts.

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The King’s Palace tour, a 1.5-hour ranger-led walk through four exquisite chambers, will lead you to the deepest part of the cavern open to the public, 830 feet (253 meters) below the desert surface. This one-mile (1.6 km) journey, while not as difficult as the Natural Entrance Trail, does require additional descending and, in the end, going up a fairly steep hill.

You can expect to see helictites, draperies, columns, and soda straws among other cave formations. During this tour, rangers frequently conduct blackouts, turning off all artificial lights for a limited period to reveal the cave’s natural darkness.

Slaughter Canyon Cave Tour

The adventure tour via Slaughter Canyon Cave is moderately difficult. This adventure will transport you to an underground wilderness devoid of power, paved walkways, or contemporary conveniences. The cave trails are extremely narrow, uneven, and slippery. Only the flashlights and headlamps of rangers and tour members break the darkness in this remote cave.

The 5-and-a-half-hour moderately strenuous Slaughter Canyon caving adventure into an underground wilderness requires reservations. Since the cave routes are slippery, rough, and narrow, hiking boots with aggressive tread are necessary. Only flashlights and headlamps are available for light.

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The 89-foot-tall Monarch, one of the world’s tallest columns; the Christmas Tree, a gleaming, crystal-decorated column; and the Chinese Wall, a delicate, ankle-high rimstone wall, are all prospective highlights of the tour. Human history and impact in the cave are attested by old bat guano mining excavations.

Bottomless Pit

The Big Room, a gigantic underground room with the world’s largest stalagmite, hundred-foot high ceilings, and stalactites that resemble chandeliers, is where most Carlsbad Caverns tours start. The so-called “Bottomless Pit,” a deep chasm in the limestone floor that appears to run downward without limit, is one of the Big Room’s most popular attractions.

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The pit was originally thought to be bottomless. When stones were thrown into it, there was no sound of them striking the bottom. Later investigations uncovered the truth. The depth of the bottom was about 140 feet below the aperture, and it was covered in loose soil. The soft mud muffled the sound of the stones hitting the ground when they reached the bottom. Visitors still like putting the pit to the test. As a result, park rangers must descend to the bottom of the canyon once a year to collect all of the trash that has been thrown in.

The vast amount of gypsum surrounding the Bottomless Pit is another fascinating feature. The soft white mineral attests to the development of the chamber and pit. When sulfuric acid combines with limestone and water, it produces carbon dioxide and water as a byproduct, as well as gypsum deposits.

Rainwater pouring down through cracks in the ground and sulfurous gases rising from the Earth’s depths eventually dissolved the soft limestone to create these spectacular structures for, 250 million years.

Hall of the White Giant

Only a few places are remaining in the world where one can experience a real adventure. Carlsbad Caverns National Park’s Hall of the White Giant Tour is one such adventure. This is an experience where the scenery is the route and the travel is more than half the adventure. The reward is the White Giant feature, a tall column that sits amid its hall, presiding over a chamber that is always dark, save for the lights of explorers who finish this difficult journey.

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Reservations and equipment are required for this tour. This is not a walk in the park that can be done in typical street clothes. This will be a dirty and physically demanding trek. Sturdy shoes, preferably hiking boots, work boots, or combat boots, with enough protection and traction, are the bare minimum. This trip also necessitates the use of soft knee pads. Cotton or leather gloves are required, and visitors should come in sturdy clothing that they don’t mind getting dirty from the Earth they’re going to explore.

Narrow tunnels characterize this journey. These sections will take up a significant amount of time. Those who are claustrophobic in any way should choose another tour option. Matlock’s Pinch is the name of one of the tour’s highlights, and it should give tourists a good idea of what to expect.

This experience may be too much for those who are afraid of heights. Communication is also essential on this excursion due to the treacherous terrain. Those who are afraid of being in small areas for lengthy periods or who dislike getting dirty should not participate in this tour.

Green Lake

The Green Lake Room is one of many ornately designed scenic chambers within Carlsbad Caverns National Park’s complex of 84 major caves. Unlike many of the other rooms with stalagmites and stalactites, this chamber’s feature is a green-hued pool of water in a corner of the uppermost floor.

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At first, it was believed that the green color of these “Microbes or an algae-like coating beneath the lake’s surface was to blame. However, further examination revealed that the color of Green Lake is caused by malachite, a carbonate mineral that covers the lake’s sides and bottom. Also referred to as “The green-colored mineral copper carbonate crystallizes into stalagmitic masses. The vivid green color of the malachite is reflected in the water when light passes through it.

Carlsbad Caverns’ Green Lake is featured on two tour routes. The self-guided tour, which begins at the Natural Entrance and ends at the Green Lake Overlook, is 1 mile long, while the mile-long King’s Palace Guided Tour follows a paved path right through the chamber. The latter, which departs at the Underground Rest Area.

Guadalupe Mountain Trail

The Guadalupe Mountains, looming high in a remote section of West Texas near Highway 62/180, are geological phenomena bordering the Texas-New Mexico border. On September 30, 1972, they were designated as a national park. There are 360-degree views of El Capitan, Texas’ most visible point at 8,085 feet, with a captivating rugged limestone landmark soaring over the road, enticing hikers, trekkers, and campers to the little-explored wilderness, tranquility, and solitude.

The Guadalupe Mountain Trail is a 161-kilometer long certified National Recreational Trail that offers hikers and backpackers a completely different experience in the Chihuahuan Desert and the Guadalupe Mountains. The trail begins at Texas’ highest point, travels through the Lincoln National Forest and Bureau of Land Management, and ends at the eastern limit of Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Salt Basin Dunes, rich grassland, conifer forests, and a variety of flora and wildlife can all be found in the area. Despite its distant position and low visitor numbers, this National Park is worth seeing because of its intriguing landscape and vast views.

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Bring a full tank of gas, as well as food and water, when visiting Guadalupe Mountains National Park, as there are no restaurants, lodging, or gas stations in or around the park. Since cell phone service is spotty, you’ll have more alone and fewer people to deal with.

Brokeoff Mountains Wilderness Study Area

A visit to the Brokeoff Mountains is an excellent complement to a visit to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, which is nearby. Crooked Canyon, at the Brokeoff Mountain Wilderness Study Area’s north end, is a very rewarding trip. It’s a stunning example of the parched Chihuahuan Desert, with beautiful rock escarpments, mule deer, javelina, and a golden eagle.

The Brokeoff Mountains WSA lies in southern New Mexico, bordering the Texas Guadalupe Mountains Wilderness. The WSA is formed by a low dominant north-south ridge cut by two 500-foot-deep canyons. Cliffs, ledges, and rock outcrops provide excellent nesting and perching habitats for birds. Cacti, agaves, soaptree yuccas, creosote bush, mesquite, semidesert grassland, and pines at higher elevations make up the vegetation.

These peaks and canyons are mostly public land, which is open to the public, owned by all Americans, and managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Archeological sites exist in the area, and some of them are protected for the time being as part of a 31,606-acre wilderness study area. Natural gas production and rare earth material extraction, on the other hand, pose a threat to vulnerable areas.

Since cell phone service is unreliable, bring printed maps with you. Even if it’s not summer, fill up on gas before leaving the Carlsbad area, bring lots of water in your daypack, and wear sunscreen and a hat.

Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area

Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area is a desert oasis with a beautiful 150-foot waterfall cascading down the canyon walls. Cabanas with picnic tables, charcoal grills, drinking water, restrooms, and a paved trail down the canyon that leads to the falls are also available. Hiking, biking, and equestrian riding are all available on the 16-mile-long canyon property trails.

Sitting Bull Falls is a series of waterfalls in the Lincoln National Forest that are located in a canyon. Springwater from the canyon above supplies the falls. The water flows via a series of streams and pools before dropping into the canyon below the falls. The mass of the water sinks into the gravel or cracks in the rocks, eventually resurfacing in springs further down the canyon or joining the Pecos Valley underground water source.

Photographers and cave enthusiasts who have the foresight to obtain a permit can also visit the nearby Sitting Bull Caves, which are known for their beauty. Grab your swimsuit and spend a day swimming and relaxing at Sitting Bull Falls while visiting the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Turn west on NM137 from US285 north of Carlsbad. Continue for about 20 miles on NM137 until you reach County Road 409. Continue on this road by turning right. This road leads to the Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Site.

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park is North America’s only zoo and botanical gardens dedicated only to the Chihuahuan Desert, North America’s largest desert. The zoo opened in 1971 above the Ocotillo Hills, west of Highway 285 and overlooks Carlsbad, New Mexico.

This park, set on 1,200 acres of authentic Chihuahuan Desert, is home to more than 50 desert mammals, birds, and reptiles, as well as about 500 plant species. You walk through displays with signs describing plants like mountain mahogany and geologic formations like gypsum sinkholes. You’ll probably see lizards and other wild animals, as well as captive ones, in addition to a nocturnal exhibit.

Animals in the park’s rehabilitation programs have been sick or injured and are no longer able to survive in the wild. In the aviary, you’ll observe golden eagles and great horned owls, as well as large animals like deer and elk in outside meadows. The view from the park, which is located high atop the Ocotillo Hills on Carlsbad’s northwest side is also spectacular.

Carlsbad RV Park

The closest campground to Carlsbad Caverns National Park is at White’s City RV Park and campground. Water, sewer, and electric hookups, as well as free Wi-Fi, are all available at the RV park. All of the spaces are pull-throughs that can accommodate any size RV or trailer.

Beautiful pine trees surround this large property, which also has covered picnic tables, BBQ grills, and fire rings. On-site amenities include laundry and vending machines, as well as newly updated showers and bathrooms. The park is well-managed and maintained, and several travel sites give it good marks.

There are also weekly and monthly rates available. You can inquire about charges by calling their office. The Walnut Canyon Water Park, the Cactus Cafe, White’s City Grocery, and the White’s City Arcade are all within walking distance of the White’s City RV Park.

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And while no reservations are taken, due to the RV park’s huge size, spots are usually available.

Nicole

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FAQs

What will you see at Carlsbad Caverns? ›

How many days do you need in Carlsbad Caverns National Park? ›

We had no idea what to do (besides knowing there was a cave) when we went to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. While there we talked to a ranger and put together a great plan to visit this amazing national park over 2 days!

Is Carlsbad Caverns worth the trip? ›

Carlsbad Caverns is a breathtaking place — and likely somewhere you will talk about for many years. This cave will blow you away with its gigantic rooms covered in spectacular rock formations. Out of all the caves in the NPS system, this one is by far my favorite! There are some fantastic things to do here.

Do you have to wear a mask in Carlsbad Caverns? ›

COVID-19 Face Mask Notice

Consistent with CDC community level guidance, face masks are currently REQUIRED for visitors to Carlsbad Caverns National Park inside all park buildings and the cavern.

How deep is the bottomless pit in Carlsbad Caverns? ›

The “Bottomless Pit” at Carlsbad Caverns National Park does, in fact, have a bottom, and a group of cavers recently made the perilous decent on an odd-but-important mission. “At approximately 140 ft (43m) deep, it can be a treacherous climb to the bottom,” the New Mexico park wrote May 2 on Facebook.

How do people dress in Carlsbad Caverns? ›

A light jacket or long-sleeved shirt is recommended. The trails and cavern features are electrically lit, but bring a flashlight if you'd like. Some areas of the Big Room and Natural Entrance trails are wet from natural water drips and steep.

What time do the bats come out at Carlsbad Caverns? ›

Each evening during the summer, Brazilian free-tailed bats emerge from Carlsbad Cavern in search of food. The Bat Flight Program begins at 7:30 pm. Check at the visitor center for updates.

Is Carlsbad Caverns cold inside? ›

Temperature and relative humidity reach fairly stable conditions a short distance into the cave. The average temperature throughout the cave is also 68°F (20ºC) and the relative humidity remains close to a constant 100%.

What is the best time of year to visit Carlsbad Caverns? ›

Based on the tourism score, the best times of year to visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park for warm-weather activities are from early May to late July and from early August to early October.

Why is Carlsbad Caverns closed? ›

A temporary COVID-19 coronavirus closure at Carlsbad Caverns National Park was lifted, according to the U.S. National Parks Service (NPS). The closure was lifted Tuesday after being put in place in March, according to the NPS website. Howver, the number of visitors and park's operating hours are limited.

How long is the walk at Carlsbad Caverns? ›

The 1.25 mile (2 km) Natural Entrance Trail is extremely steep. Depending on if you decide to hike up or down, you gain or lose about 750 feet (229 m)—equivalent to walking up or down a 75-story building. The hike takes about one hour (on average) to complete.

What lives in Carlsbad Caverns? ›

Other native mammals in the park range from mule deer and cougar (mountain lion) to the small mammals such as ringtails; several species of ground squirrels, deer mice, and kangaroo rats; the desert shrew; and the Chihuahuan Desert pocket mouse, which was not documented in the park until the 21st century.

Are Carlsbad Caverns open during Covid? ›

Carlsbad Cavern and the visitor center are open.

Is Carlsbad Caverns claustrophobic? ›

It didn't take long for the claustrophobia to set in. Even though the cave is HUGE, it became clear to me that the walk out of the cave was going to be extremely strenuous. The farther I walked down, the more nervous I got that I would not be able to make the walk back up.

Is there an elevator in Carlsbad Caverns? ›

Carlsbad Caverns' primary elevators take visitors about 750 feet below the surface to enjoy the cave system, and have traveled almost 30,000 miles since they were rebuilt in July 2018. That's almost as far as traveling from Carlsbad to Japan five times.

When can you see the bats at Carlsbad Caverns? ›

Children watch bats return to Carlsbad Cavern at dawn. Hundreds of thousands of Brazilian free-tailed bats call Carlsbad Cavern home from April through October. It's tradition to watch their mass exodus from the cavern each evening. But each year on the third Saturday of July, we gather at dawn to watch their return.

Is Carlsbad Caverns good for kids? ›

Carlsbad Caverns is definitely a favorite one of those trips for both adults and kids and not to be missed! The kids didn't even mind the 3-hour drive (too much) back and forth they were so excited.

How long is the walk at Carlsbad Caverns? ›

The 1.25 mile (2 km) Natural Entrance Trail is extremely steep. Depending on if you decide to hike up or down, you gain or lose about 750 feet (229 m)—equivalent to walking up or down a 75-story building. The hike takes about one hour (on average) to complete.

Is there an elevator in Carlsbad Caverns? ›

Carlsbad Caverns' primary elevators take visitors about 750 feet below the surface to enjoy the cave system, and have traveled almost 30,000 miles since they were rebuilt in July 2018. That's almost as far as traveling from Carlsbad to Japan five times.

How old is Carlsbad Caverns? ›

Carlsbad Cavern is one of over 300 limestone caves in a fossil reef laid down by an inland sea about 265 million years ago.

How safe is Carlsbad Caverns? ›

The park is considered safe for visitors, per a Friday news release. Park staff plan to monitor the hours employees spend in the Caverns, while providing training as to the possible effects of exposure and making modifications to the visitor center to mitigate the risk.

How claustrophobic is Carlsbad Caverns? ›

It didn't take long for the claustrophobia to set in. Even though the cave is HUGE, it became clear to me that the walk out of the cave was going to be extremely strenuous. The farther I walked down, the more nervous I got that I would not be able to make the walk back up.

Is Carlsbad Caverns cold inside? ›

Temperature and relative humidity reach fairly stable conditions a short distance into the cave. The average temperature throughout the cave is also 68°F (20ºC) and the relative humidity remains close to a constant 100%.

How deep is the Big Room in Carlsbad Caverns? ›

Visitors can walk or take an elevator to the 755-foot (230-metre) level and explore the Big Room, which measures about 2,000 feet (610 metres) long and 1,100 feet (335 metres) wide at its greatest extents and has a ceiling that arches 255 feet (78 metres) above the floor.

Is Carlsbad Caverns closing? ›

Carlsbad Cavern and the visitor center are open.

How long is the elevator ride in Carlsbad Caverns? ›

The Carlsbad Caverns elevator ride takes only one minute at a speed of nine miles per hour.

Can you take a backpack into Carlsbad Caverns? ›

All cavern tours require that you wear shirts and shoes. Metal framed backpacks or backpacks that extend above the shoulders or of a length that extends below the hips are prohibited (e.g. trekking backpacks). Walking sticks and canes are permitted on cave tours if medically necessary.

Who found Carlsbad Caverns? ›

Our first credited cave exploration happened in the cave in 1898. Sixteen year-old cowboy, Jim White, was rounding up cattle one evening when he spotted smoke from a wildfire off in the distance.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is one of these such parks, and although there is much to do here above the surface, what makes this park truly shine is what is found in its subterranean caves.. Children under 15 years old are free.. Permits are required for backcountry camping in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.. In this unique desert landscape, you can find a plethora of active, adventurous, and educational activities, including camping, hiking, tours, and wildlife programs.. Above ground scenery of the Chihuahuan Desert Camping at Carlsbad Caverns National Park is limited to backcountry camping only.. Despite popular belief, there are options for both underground and above-ground hiking at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, though admittedly the underground trails are the most popular and well known!. In order to access Carlsbad’s underground, self-guided, self-paced hiking, guests can either take the elevator located in the Visitor’s Center, or hike down the Natural Entrance Trail.. Offerings include tours such as King’s Palace, Left Hand Tunnel Tour, Lower Cave, Hall of the White Giant, Spider Cave, and Slaughter Canyon Cave, in addition to several others.. All events take place following the nightly Bat Flight Program.. So, What’s Next After Carlsbad Caverns?

The Carlsbad Caverns are located about 40 minutes from Carlsbad and makes a great day trip.. There are two major trails at Carlsbad Caverns National Park that are free to explore when you visit this place – The Natural Entrance Trail and The Big Room Trail.. Aside from exploring the Carlsbad Caverns on your own by taking either the Big Room or Natural Entrance trails, you can also take a ranger-guided tour.. The Walnut Canyon Desert Drive is just one of the beautiful things that you will experience at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.. It is held at the Bat Flight Amphitheater located at the Natural Entrance to Carlsbad Cavern.

Heading to Carlsbad Caverns National Park?. While Carlsbad Caverns National Park is definitely not one of the most visited National Parks in the US, it gave us a crazy reaction that very few have.. We’re excited to share all of our tips if you have one day at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, which in our opinion, is more than enough to experience how wild this park is.. Similar to White Sands, Carlsbad Caverns National Park has set hours to visit the caverns.. You also must begin your hike (or elevator ride) out of the cavern by a specific time to ensure you are out of the caverns by closing time.. If you plan to fly to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, the closest airport is about 140 miles West in El Paso (El Paso International Airport-ELP) and then you’ll want to rent a car to drive from El Paso to Carlsbad Caverns, which takes about 2.5 hours.. If you plan to drive to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, it makes a great stop if you’re driving through New Mexico to/from Arizona or Texas.. If you only have time for one activity at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, make sure you visit the Big Room!. In late May to October, the park offers a free Bat Flight program, which is a chance to learn about the park’s bats and then watch them exit the cavern at night.. Pin this One Day at Carlsbad Caverns National Park guide to plan your adventure!

If you ever take a road trip through New Mexico or western Texas, you’ll probably decide that Carlsbad Caverns National Park should make your destination list.. Carlsbad Caverns National Park features more than 100 caves hidden beneath the Chihuahuan Desert in the Guadalupe Mountains.. Each year, about 500,000 people visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park.. So even people who don’t want to venture underground will enjoy the beautiful scenery of southeastern New Mexico.. Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a cool site, but not for people who are claustrophobic!. But even with the beauty and awe of Carlsbad Caverns, we have a few reasons not to visit.. Although the bats draw crowds, they’re also reasons to stay away.. Because this trail and the Big Room Trail are mostly underground, they’re constantly wet, which can cause slippery conditions.. Beware of bats when exploring Carlsbad Caverns National Park.. Depending on how quickly you move through the caves, a visit to Carlsbad Caverns can take anywhere from one to three hours.. If you take the elevator, the time shortens because you’ll avoid the hour or so hike down to the Big Room.. There are certainly reasons to avoid Carlsbad Caverns.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park will leave you awe-inspired by its sheer size, especially the Big Room.. There are so many other fun things to do Carlsbad Caverns National Park so let's explore this fascinating park!. Established on May 14, 1930, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is famous both for its elaborately decorated caves and the colonies of bats found in them.. Carlsbad Caverns is one of the best US national parks where hikers or backpackers can really enjoy the beauty of nature.. To prevent it from spreading to the bats in Carlsbad Caverns, do not wear shoes, clothing, or bring any gear into any cave at Carlsbad Caverns National Park that was worn in another cave.. Carlsbad Cavern Tours are a great way to explore Carlsbad Caverns!. The best part is that you are able to make reservations online except for the photo tour which is available at the visitor center.. You have the opportunity to go outside to the amphitheater and attend a Ranger program and witness the Carlsbad Cavern bats (Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats) leave the cave in search of dinner.. Make sure to show up early as Rangers talk about bats before they leave the cave each night.. The crazy part is those who take this road generally don't see another park visitor the entire time, something hard to find so close to a visitor center in a National Park.. You can request a Junior Bat Biologist program at the visitor center or print one ahead of time.

Bristlecone Pines in Great Basin National Park in NevadaI think Great Basin National Park is one of the most underrated national parks.. To enter the National Parks, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee or have a National Parks Pass also known as American the Beautiful Pass.. This is one of the park’s most popular hikes, located near the Wheeler Peak Campground at the end of the Great Basin National Park Scenic Drive.. Wiki Commons Famartin As you go toward Stella Lake, the trail begins at the Bristlecone Area parking lot and soon gains roughly 400 feet in elevation.. The trail comes to a fork around 0.3 miles into the hike, and you can either stay on this track or turn right for the Wheeler Peak Trail.. Wiki Commons Famartin The Bristlecone Pine Glacier Trail travels through bristlecone woods and begins at the Bristlecone Parking Area at the end of the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive.. Wiki Commons Famartin Great Basin National Park is a remote park with nothing in the way of advertising or fanfare.. Great Basin National Park is a surprisingly lovely park with rugged, untamed, and breathtaking alpine landscapes.. If you’re staying at the Grey Cliffs Campground, which is the only campground in Great Basin National Park that accepts reservations, this hike is ideal.. The Cave Lake Overlook Loop Trail is a moderately steep trail in Cave Lake State Park that climbs roughly 900 feet in elevation, quickly bringing you to cold mountain air and stunning views of the lake and surrounding area.. Great Basin National Park is also part of the National Park System’s Night Skies Program, which only a few national parks qualify for.. Stargazing at Great Basin National Park is home to what astronomers describe as some of the last real night skies in the United States, having been designated an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association—a rare and cherished honor.. If you’re looking for a luxurious spot to park your house on wheels, the large selection of full-service Nevada RV parks and beautifully kept Nevada state park campgrounds will provide lots of options.

Rising to heights of 8,749 feet, the Guadalupe Mountains stand in stunning contrast to the flat Chihuahuan Desert that surrounds them and provides ample hiking opportunities through the mountains above ground at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and below ground in spectacular caves at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.. With 30 miles of mapped caves and 119 known caves, Carlsbad Caverns National Park covers 46,766 acres and contains one of the oldest and most well-known cave systems in the world.. The Carlsbad Caverns National Park Visitor Center complex is the main “above ground” part of the national park with an order-at-the-counter restaurant, a huge gift shop called the Carlsbad Caverns Trading Company, and educational museum exhibits about the park and the caverns.. The entrance to Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located on US Highway 62/180, approximately 18 miles southwest of Carlsbad, New Mexico and 25 miles from Guadalupe Mountains National Park across the Texas state line.. Carlsbad Caverns National Park offers numerous ranger-guided cave tours into areas along the Big Room and Natural Entrance trails that are not open for exploring on your own.

Carlsbad Caverns is high on my list of natural wonders of the world.. But should you visit Carlsbad Caverns with kids?. Carlsbad Caverns is definitely a favorite one of those trips for both adults and kids and not to be missed!. Carlsbad Caverns is no little cave you walk in and do a quick walk around the main room.. Keep in mind only part of the area is wheel-chair friendly and strollers are not allowed down in the main cave.. Still, this makes it even more important to bring water bottles for all as you will be walking around at the very least for an hour or two.. However, if you want to enjoy your trip, make sure everyone, especially the kids, have sweatshirts.. Don’t worry, they won’t be down in the Big Room on your cave tour, they live in another cavern and stay away from people.. Speaking of Park Rangers, there are all sorts of tours you can sign up for if you want more of an adventure away from the Big Room.. If anyone in your group is not great with small, enclosed spaces, be sure to talk to the rangers about the particular tour you’re interested in.. Ask in the Visitor’s Center or one of the rangers for a free Junior Ranger Activity Book .. Your child will visit the caverns then complete the book and other requirements.. Experience the ranger-led blackouts on one of the most impressive mile hikes in which you’ll ever take part.. Make your plans for summer vacation and visit Carlsbad Caverns with kids.

We will walk you through hidden vacation spots in Texas, secret places in texas, and texas hidden gems.. Texas is the second-largest state in the USA and when it comes to Texas as a vacation destination it has a lot to offer.. While we can’t cover all the hidden gems in Texas we hope this encourages you to perhaps visit some of these lesser-known tourist spots.. One of the hidden places in Texas well worth a visit.. Just 30 miles west of Austin this hidden gem in Texas is a tranquil place to relax and recharge, The river is beautiful flowing over and around huge limestone slabs.. One of the hidden gems in Texas you will not regret visiting.. If you want to cool off in a beautiful location this is one of the hidden gems in Texas for you.. Fancy a trip to a ghost town well it’s texas of course they have a ghost town.. This place really is one of the hidden gems in Texas.

Speaking about hidden wonder that make your jaw drops, New Mexico has one called Carlsbad Caverns National Park.. There are two ways to enter this hidden wonder, by walking the Natural Entrance (steep, 1.25 miles) or taking the elevator down into the Big Room.. And we think we wouldn’t have enough time to enter through Natural Entrance and came back through the elevator.. So, we decided to do the Big Room tour via elevator in the visitor center and came back again the next morning to enter the cave through the Natural Entrance.. The next morning, we went back to the park.. This time, we entered the cave through Natural Entrance.. Walking towards that large opening, I felt like walking into the giant mouth of the earth.. This 1.25-mile tour follows the traditional explorer’s route.. Once we hit the Big Room, we took the elevator to take us back to the visitor center.. One thing you shouldn’t miss when visiting Carlsbad Caverns is to watch the bats emerge from the Natural Entrance.. Start with the Natural Entrance route, tour the Big Room, and go back through the elevator.. – The Natural Entrance is not an accessible trail.

Recommended Road Trip Length Since the driving distances are so short for this road trip, a four or five day trip is enough to give you a nice overview of the area–but the sheer number of things to do nearby means that you could easily triple that time without getting bored!. This Texas road trip also focuses on the general region between and around Austin and San Antonio–also known as the Texas Hill Country –but instead of focusing the trip on the area’s two large cities with a few stops along the way, this one is focused entirely on the countryside.. West Texas is not only home to the sprawling, harsh desert landscapes that the Lone Star State is often associated with, it’s also home to both of Texas’ national parks, which can act as the backbone to a phenomenal Texas road trip.. Recommended Road Trip Length In order to fully appreciate both national parks as well as Big Bend Ranch State Park while still leaving time for additional sightseeing along the way, we recommend taking around a week and a half to enjoy a West Texas road trip.. For a Texas road trip with a fantastic mix of big cities, great food, charming small towns, and even a bit of nature, consider taking a road trip beginning and ending in Dallas.. Depending on the time of year and amount of time you have for your road trip, other destinations to mix in include Dublin (the original home of Dr. Pepper and a town with lots of Irish influences), Grapevine (one of the best Christmas destinations in Texas), Ennis (home to some of the best bluebonnet fields in the state during the spring) and Canton (adorable and historic, plus home to one of the best flea markets in Texas ).. For your Piney Woods road trip, stop by Davy Crockett National Forest to get an idea for what the nature in East Texas has to offer before heading onto towns like Palestine (one of the homes of the Texas State Railroad), Longview, Jefferson , Marshall, and Nacogdoches.. Recommended Road Trip Length Starting and ending in Houston, you can get a good overview of the Piney Woods area in around a week–but consider extending your Texas road trip a bit to dip down south of Houston to enjoy the beaches of the Gulf Coast a bit, too!. As the second-largest state in the USA, Texas covers a positively enormous amount of land–much of it extremely empty land, especially the further west you go–and therefore taking a road trip in Texas means planning strategically based on where in the state you are.

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