• 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.

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?

The Hall of Giants in Carlsbad Cavern.

The 119 caves of Carlsbad Caverns National Park were carved out not by running water and streams like many limestone caves in the world, rather these caves were dissolved by very aggressive sulfuric acid.