• 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.

Walking Bridge Replacement at Carlsbad Caverns to Start April 16

Smigiels and Ranger Gosia on bridge April 2012_30kb
Park Ranger Gosia Allison-Kosior talks with Lee and Sandy Smigiel, a couple visiting from New York, as they cross the bridge due for replacement. 
NPS photo

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News Release Date: April 13, 2012
Contact: Paula Bauer

Carlsbad, New Mexico - Carlsbad Caverns National Park announces that a walking bridge located on the trail between the park visitor center and Carlsbad Cavern natural entrance will be replaced beginning April 16. During the two weeks that the bridge is unavailable, visitors will have access to the cave's natural entrance route by way of the nature trail, an additional half-mile walk. Elevator service will be an option available directly between the visitor center and Big Room and guided tours in Carlsbad Cavern.

The bridge has been in place for several decades and shows signs of severe rust damage. A wooden support structure beneath the bridge ensures that it is safe to use. "We had hoped to put off this replacement project until this fall," explains Carlsbad Caverns National Park Superintendent John Benjamin, "but after looking at the extent of the corrosion, it's clear that it's prudent to do the work sooner, rather than later."

For a complete list of cave tours and programs and park operating hours, please visit the park's website, www.nps.gov/cave.

Did You Know?

The natural entrance of Carlsbad Cavern.

In 2003, a park employee found a piece of a stone scraper within view of Carlsbad Cavern's entrance that goes back to Ice Age Indian hunters. In 2004, archeologists found fragments of two spear points of the Midland-style Paleo Indian projectile points of some 10,000 years ago.