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.
Among the 46 species of reptiles in the park are the Gray-banded Kingsnake, an endangered species in New Mexico, and two state-threatened species: the Rio Grande Cooter (a turtle) and the Mottled Rock Rattlesnake. Though rare in the state, the Mottled Rock Rattlesnake is the most common snake seen in the park.
Rattlesnakes are far less common in the park than lizards. Most often seen are the several species of Whiptail Lizards, Spiny Lizards, and Horned Lizards. There are also two species of skinks and one gecko. Among the non-venomous snakes are the Chihuahuan Hook-nosed Snake, Trans-Pecos Ratsnake, and Mountain Patch-nosed Snake.
The park also provides habitat for four species of turtles, one of which-the Ornate Box Turtle-is not aquatic.
Herpetofauna Checklist [347k PDF]
Did You Know?
The 120 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.