• 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.

  • 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 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: 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily.

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?

Ice-age sloth

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.