• 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.

  • Rattlesnake Springs Area Closed

    Rattlesnake Springs area will remain closed through the weekend (9-28-14) due to hazardous road conditions and downed trees caused by torrential rains.

  • All Camping Suspended Until Further Notice

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

Road Resurfacing Project May Cause Delays

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Date: September 23, 2013

Road Resurfacing Project May Cause Delays

CARLSBAD, New Mexico – If you are planning a trip to Carlsbad Caverns National Park between Tuesday through the end of October, prepare for possible delays because of road work. During this six-week period, visitors driving along the main entrance road can expect weekday delays of up to 15 minutes in both directions as traffic will narrow to only one lane. The road work will take place in two-mile segments with a pilot car leading traffic through the work zones.

The road work will be in two phases: Crack sealing and pavement patching and chip sealing of the road surface. Work hours will be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with an occasional Saturday. No work will be done on Sundays.

"The road was reconstructed in 2010. Follow-up with a chip seal is recommended within the first three years," said Chuck Burton, the park's facility manager. "Resealing the road protects it from moisture penetration, which can degrade the pavement and soften the base underneath it. The chip seal also provides a new 'wear surface' that extends the life of the pavement."

Both parking lots at the park visitor center will also be resealed as part of the road project.

"We are sorry to inconvenience visitors, but please understand that we must protect the investment that taxpayers made in the original Walnut Canyon Road and parking lots. We will work closely with the contractor, which has deep experience in this kind of work, to keep delays and visitor inconvenience to a minimum," said Carlsbad Caverns National Park Superintendent John Benjamin.

The park's famous caverns will be open as usual during the road project. Visitor center hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last entry into the cave via the natural entrance is at 2 p.m. and last entry via the elevators is at 3:30 p.m. For more information about open hours, cave tours, and other activities, call 575-785-2232 or visit www.nps.gov/cave.

- www.NPS.gov-

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.