• Photo of the steep natural entrance of Carlsbad Caverns

    Carlsbad Caverns

    National Park New Mexico

Things To Know Before You Come

Where to Stay

There is no lodging available within Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Camping is allowed only in the back country, at least a half-mile from roads and parking lots, and requires a free permit which is issued at the park visitor center when you arrive.


Where to Eat

Park concessionaire, Carlsbad Caverns Trading Company's cafeteria is located at the west end of the visitor center, past the gift shop and is the only option to purchase food in the park. Other restaurant information.



Pets are as important to us, as they are to you. Our park concessionaire, Carlsbad Caverns Trading Company provides boarding for your pet at the park for a $10/day fee.


What to Bring

  • You may want to bring a light jacket or sweater as the year-round temperature in the cave is 56F (13C).
  • Baby strollers are not permitted in the cave so a baby backpack may suit your needs if you need to carry your child.
  • Don't forget your camera! Flash photography in the cave is permitted, just be courteous of the person next to you when you use your flash. Tripods are permitted on self-guided tours but not on ranger-guided tours.
  • Bottle plain water is fine to carry through the cave. Please no food, drinks, tobacco products, gum, mints, candy or any product that could attract animals into the cave where they can't escape.
  • We will ask you if you've been in a cave east of the park in the past 7 years and if you wore the same shoes or carried the same camera equipment we will need to wipe them down with disinfectant. Why? Because of a deadly fungus known to bats called White Nosed Syndrome. We work very diligently protecting the health of the Brazilian Free-tailed bats who call Carlsbad Caverns home six months out of the year.
  • Don't forget to bring your adventurous curiosity and spirit of learning!

Weather and Climate

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in the Chihuahuan Desert in southeast New Mexico. Summers are usually quite hot with temps in the high 90's and low 100's. We'll experience very windy conditions in early spring (March) and heavy rains in early fall (September). This part of the country also sees cold temperatures in the winter, occasional snow and icy conditions as well. Most days, the park is enveloped by a gorgeous blue sky with very few clouds (278 sunny days a year!).



The park does not rent or loan wheelchairs or scooters. Canes, walking sticks and scooters needed for medical purposes are permitted, but recreational walking or hiking sticks are not. Portions of the Big Room inside the cavern are wheelchair accessible, but the Natural Entrance is not as the Natural Entrance is a 750 foot, steep descent into the cave down switchback trails.

Please consider that the Big Room does have inclines and declines. If mobility is limited there is an elevator that will take you in and out of the cave in less than 1 minute.

Small oxygen tanks are permitted in the cave for medical reasons, please ensure you have plenty of oxygen and new batteries for your time in the cave.

Flashlights are permitted in the cave as are helmets with headlamps.

Service dogs, needed for medical reasons and professionally trained, are permitted in the cave but therapy or emotional support dogs are not.


Did You Know?