• 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.

Plan Your Visit

*Carlsbad Caverns National Park will be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day*

A visit to Carlsbad Caverns National Park is most enjoyable when it is pre-planned. We suggest you begin by deciding which tours are appropriate for you and your family. In an effort to prevent White-nose syndrome at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, tour participants will be asked a series of questions to determine if they need to undergo a cleaning procedure on shoes, clothing, and/or equipment. More information about White-nose syndrome and park policies regarding decontamination.

Make reservations for guided tours by calling 1.877.444.6777 or make them online at Recreation.gov. Some tours are limited and fill up quickly, so plan well in advance.

Photography (with flash) is permitted in the cave. Please be courteous of other visitors when using a flash. Tripods are permitted on self-guided tours, but not ranger-led tours.

For students and other group participants (to include scouting groups, civic or special-interest clubs and organizations, church groups, etc.), the park requires responsible chaperones to accompany the group. At a minimum, one adult chaperone is required for every 10 minors.

NOTE: Baby strollers are not permitted in the cave. Bring a baby backpack if you need to carry your child.

Children 3 years of age and under are not permitted on any of the guided tours offered at Carlsbad Caverns. However, visitors see most of the cave without a guide on the "self-guided" routes, where people of all ages are welcome.




Firearms Rules

As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Federal law continues to prohibit firearms in certain facilities, such as park visitor centers. These facilities are posted with appropriate notices at public entrances. At Carlsbad Caverns, firearms are not allowed in the Visitor Center, including the restaurant, gift shop, and kennel, the park’s maintenance yard, park office buildings, or inside caves where guided tours occur, including Carlsbad Cavern, Slaughter Canyon Cave, and Spider Cave. The new federal law has no effect on existing laws and regulations regarding the use of firearms in national parks or hunting. Hunting, target shooting, and any other use of firearms are not allowed in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit our state’s website. [New Mexico Department of Public Safety]

Did You Know?

Evening bat flight at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Nearly 400,000 Brazilian (more commonly called Mexican) Free-tailed bats call Carlsbad Cavern home in the summer... and all they want to do each night is eat bugs... several tons of them!