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.
Left Hand Tunnel Tour
Left Hand Tunnel
Moderately strenuous. This is a historic candle-lit lantern tour through an undeveloped section of the cave on unpaved trails. The dirt trail winds over uneven surfaces with some steep slippery slopes. Careful footing is required to navigate on steep slippery slopes, around cavern pools and fragile formations. Not recommended for anyone who has difficulty seeing in dim-lit or candle-lit conditions. Lanterns are provided. Sturdy closed-toed shoes or hiking boots required. No backpacks.
Reservations are required for the Left Hand Tunnel tour. To make reservations call 1.877.444.6777 or visit Recreation.gov.
Duration: 2 hours
When: 1:30 p.m. daily.
Where: Tour departs from the visitor center theater.
Requirements: Good walking shoes. Ages 6 and over. Anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Did You Know?
The limestone rock that holds Carlsbad Cavern is full of ocean fossil plants and animals from a time before the dinosaurs when the southeastern corner of New Mexico was a coastline similar to the Florida Keys.