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.
Scenic Loop Road Closed
The 9-mile scenic Loop Road (Desert Drive) is closed due to weather damage. The road will reopen as soon as repairs are done. This scenic road does not affect road access to the visitor center or the cave.
Kings Palace Tour
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: 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily.
Where: Tour departs from the underground rest area.
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?
Bones from ice age animals like jaguars, camels, lions and giant sloths have been found in the entrance areas of some caves in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.