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.
Commercial Filming & Photography
The Park and Filming
The park was established in 1923 to preserve, for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people, its unique natural and cultural features. All filming activities will be conducted in a manner that ensures park resources and our visitors' experiences are protected.
Filming in any cave can be a complex endeavor due to low light conditions, limited access to cave areas, and difficulties in transporting equipment within caves. For these reasons, a scouting trip to the park, well in advance of filming, is strongly recommended.
Generally, commercial filming is permitted in Carlsbad Cavern during the evening hours when the cave is closed. This facilitates the filming activities with fewer disruptions to visitors and production crews alike.
A filming permit will be issued provided the proposed activity does not violate the following criteria:
A permit will be required if the project involves any of the following:
Coverage of breaking news does not require a permit, but is subject to restrictions and conditions necessary to protect the park resources, public health and safety, and to prevent impairment or derogation of park resources, values, or purposes.
How to Apply
All permits are subject to cost recovery and location fees. Additional permit review and documentation (above two hours) is $50 per hour. Permit compliance monitoring by a park ranger is required for filming projects is $50 per hour. Location fees are calculated per day and are based on the following schedule:
Commercial Still Photography
The park's cooperating association, The Carlsbad Caverns Guadalupe Mountains Association, produced a video, Spirit of Exploration, in 1993. This digitally mastered production, featuring a wide variety of cave formations, is available for use. A review copy of Spirit of Exploration, as well as other information on the park (including books and postcards) may be purchased from the association by calling 575.785.2485.
In compliance with the requirements of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, the applicant must submit their social security number or Federal tax ID number when filling out the permit application. Applications will not be processed if submitted incomplete or are received without payment.
Did You Know?
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.