• 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.

  • All Camping & Backcountry Caving Suspended Until Further Notice

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

Kings Palace Tour

The Queen's Draperies in the Kings Palace area of Carlsbad Cavern.
The Queen’s Draperies in the Kings Palace area of Carlsbad Cavern.
NPS Photo by Peter Jones.
 
The King's Palace tour, a 1.5-hour ranger-guided tour through four highly decorated chambers, departs from the underground rest area. You will descend to the deepest portion of the cavern open to the public, 830 feet beneath the desert surface. Although not as difficult as the Natural Entrance route, this 1-mile tour does require descending, and later climbing, an 8-story hill. Look forward to viewing a variety of cave formations including helictites, draperies, columns, and soda straws. Rangers frequently conduct black-outs during this tour, briefly turning off all artificial lights to reveal the natural darkness of the cave.

Reservations are required for the Kings Palace tour. To make reservations call 1.877.444.6777 or visit Recreation.gov.

Duration: 1½ hours

When: See tour schedule charts for tour times throughout the year.

Where: Tour departs from the underground rest area.

Cost: $8 for adults and $4 for children, Senior and Access Pass holders. Tour participants must also purchase an entrance fee ticket.

Note: Children under 4 years old are not permitted on the King's Palace Tour. Anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Did You Know?

Lake Chandelier in Lechuguilla Cave in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Scientists are studying "extremophile" microbes in the highly protected and almost pristine Lechuguilla Cave that are leading scientists towards generating a possible cure for cancer.