History & Culture
The park's cultural resources represent a long and varied continuum of human use starting in prehistoric times, and illustrating many adaptations to the Chihuahuan Desert environment. Human activities, including prehistoric and historic American Indian occupations, European exploration and settlement, industrial exploitation, commercial and cavern accessibility development, and tourism have each left reminders of their presence, and each has contributed to the rich and diverse history of the area.
The park has two historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places-the Cavern Historic District and the Rattlesnake Springs Historic District. The park museum, including the park archives, contains about 1,000,000 cultural resource specimens that are being preserved and protected for future generations.
Additional information on the park's history and culture can be found here.
Did You Know?
Most of the formations—or speleothems—found inside Carlsbad Cavern today were active and growing during the last ice age when instead of having a desert above the cave, there were pine forests.