• Photo of the steep natural entrance of Carlsbad Caverns

    Carlsbad Caverns

    National Park New Mexico

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  • Scenic Loop Road Closed

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

  • All Camping & Backcountry Caving Suspended Until Further Notice

    All camping and backcountry/recreational caving in the park has been suspended until further notice due to flood damage on backcountry roads and trails.

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 in Carlsbad Cavern.

Jim White is the cowboy credited with being the premier explorer of Carlsbad Cavern. He began to explore the cave as a teenager in 1898, using a handmade wire ladder to descend 60 feet into the cave. For more than a decade, he couldn't convince many locals that there was much to Carlsbad Cavern.