• Photo of the steep natural entrance of Carlsbad Caverns

    Carlsbad Caverns

    National Park New Mexico

Self-Guided Cave Tours

The Chinese Theater in the Big Room of Carlsbad Cavern.
The Chinese Theater in the Big Room of Carlsbad Cavern.
NPS Photo by Peter Jones.
 

Entry into the cavern is by way of two different self-guided routes—the Big Room Route and the Natural Entrance Route. The Natural Entrance Route is a steep, 1.25 mile, 750 foot descent down switchbacks into the cave. This entrance is not wheelchair accessible. The Big Room Route allows for wheelchairs in the areas that are not steep ascents/descents (certain inaccessible areas have pinch points). Tickets are sold at the visitor center each day, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Entrance fee tickets are good for three days, but do not include guided or other special tours. Summer hours are in effect from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Sept - May ~ Big Room Hours (for entry): 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

June - August ~ Big Room Hours (for entry): 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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