• 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.

Lower Cave Tour

The Texas Tooktpick is one of many formations you'll see on the Lower Cave Tour in Carlsbad Cavern.
The Texas Toothpick is one of many formations you'll see on the Lower Cave Tour in Carlsbad Cavern.
NPS Photo by Peter Jones.
 
In 1924, National Geographic expedition members wrote about the wonders of Lower Cave. Visitors today can see the evidence left behind from these and other explorers. Highlights of this tour include The Rookery, with countless nests of cave pearls, the Colonel Boles Formation, and an incredible diversity of cave formations that compete for your attention almost everywhere you look. A strenuous descent of sixty feet of ladders and a knotted rope at the tour entrance sometimes causes participants to back out. If you have a fear of heights or difficulties with ladders, you may wish to consider visiting Left Hand Tunnel instead.

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

Cost: $20 for adults and $10 for children, Senior and Access Pass holders. Tour participants must also purchase an entrance fee ticket. Backpacks are NOT allowed on this tour.

Duration: 3 hours

When: Sun/Tues/Thurs/Sat at 8:30 a.m.

Where: Tour departs from the visitor center theater.

Requirements: Ages 12 and over. Anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants must be physically and mentally able to safely negotiate cave passages containing fragile formations without harm to the cave, yourself, or others.

Good sneakers or hiking boots and three (3) AA batteries.

In an effort to prevent White-Nose Syndrome at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, tour participants will NOT be allowed to enter cave areas with shoes, clothing, and/or equipment until they have been screened and decontaminated.

**If participants are taking more than one adventure tour (Lower Cave, Hall of the White Giant and Spider Cave tours), clothing and gear used on one tour must be cleaned before use on another tour. If clothing or gear is not clean, participation in any tour may not be allowed.**

Did You Know?

The natural entrance of Carlsbad Cavern.

In 2003, a park employee found a piece of a stone scraper within view of Carlsbad Cavern's entrance that goes back to Ice Age Indian hunters. In 2004, archeologists found fragments of two spear points of the Midland-style Paleo Indian projectile points of some 10,000 years ago.