• Photo of the steep natural entrance of Carlsbad Caverns

    Carlsbad Caverns

    National Park New Mexico

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  • Cave Lighting Project

    We are undergoing a year-long lighting project in the cavern. Please be aware of caution tape along pathways inside the cave and use due care.

  • Scenic Loop Road Closed

    The 9-mile scenic Loop Road (Desert Drive) is closed due to weather damage. The road will reopen as soon as repairs are done. This scenic road does not affect road access to the visitor center or the cave.

Natural Features & Ecosystems

Jim White was the first person known to explore the depths of Carlsbad Cavern.

Jim White was the first person known to explore the depths of Carlsbad Cavern.

NPS Photo by Willis T. Lee

Caves
Carlsbad Caverns National Park contains more than 118 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 can be extremely rugged, as is shown here in Yucca Canyon.

The park's backcountry, including Yucca Canyon, can be extremely rugged.

NPS Photo

Geology
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.

Rain showers can make the Chihuahuan Desert come alive with color throughout the year.

NPS Photo

Chihuahuan Desert
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...

Did You Know?

Jim White, Amelia Earhart and others at Carlsbad Cave National Monument in 1928.

The first "official" and very influential book on Jim White's adventures in Carlsbad Cavern was written in 1930 by a newsman who at best would today be called a tabloid journalist.