Natural Features & Ecosystems
Jim White was the first person known to explore the depths of Carlsbad Cavern.
NPS Photo by Willis T. Lee
Carlsbad Caverns National Park contains more than 119 limestone caves that are outstanding in the profusion, diversity and beauty of their formations. Caves are fragile environments that are affected by human activities and natural processes both underground and on the surface. Although caves are a delicate non-renewable resource, they are a continual source of exploration and discovery...more...
The park's backcountry, including Yucca Canyon, can be extremely rugged.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park preserves a portion of the Capitan Reef—one of the best-preserved, exposed Permian-age fossil reefs in the world. Water, geologic forces, climactic changes, and vast spans of time have produced and changed the fossil reef and its spectacular caves, a process that continues to the present day. more...
Rain showers can make the Chihuahuan Desert come alive with color throughout the year.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park contains one of the few protected portions of the northern Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem. The Chihuahuan Desert reveals, upon close examination, complex natural processes that yield an astounding abundance and diversity of plant and animal life. more...