• 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.

  • Road Resurfacing Project

    Possible 15 minute traffic delays due to road resurfacing project in the park.

Tour Schedule

Ranger-guided Tours
Whether it's walking among beautiful cave formations in the King's Palace or challenging yourself to a tight belly crawl in colorful Spider Cave, taking a ranger-guided cave tour can be a rewarding experience. Carlsbad Caverns National Park offers numerous ranger-guided cave tours into areas other than the self-guided routes. Find out which tour is right for you by clicking on tour names in the table below. Tours are listed in order of difficulty, with more strenuous tours at the bottom.


Additional tickets must be purchased for all guided cave tours and can be purchased in advance. If you reserve a spot on the Slaughter Canyon Cave or Spider Cave trip you must caravan in your own vehicle to the trailhead - please meet at the visitor center before the tour. Availability is limited so plan ahead and reserve early. Make tour reservations by calling 1.877.444.6777 or by visiting www.recreation.gov. A general admission ticket ($10 per adult) is required in addition to tour fees for King's Palace, Left Hand Tunnel, Lower Cave, Slaughter Canyon Cave, Spider Cave and Hall of the White Giant tours. In addition, participants on guided tours (except King's Palace and Left Hand Tunnel) must bring 3-AA batteries with them. NOTE: Children younger than 4 years are not permitted on any ranger-guided cave tours. Additional age limits differ for each tour.

Fall/Winter/Spring Schedule (9/3/13 - 5/22/14)

Tour Time
King's Palace Daily 10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. (tour length: 1.5 hours)
Left Hand Tunnel Daily 9:00 a.m. (2 hours)
Slaughter Canyon Cave Saturday & Sunday 8:30 a.m. (not offered in January and February) (5.5 hours) (not available until May 4, 2014)
Lower Cave Monday-Friday 1:00 p.m. (3 hours) (not available until May 4, 2014)
Hall of the White Giant Saturday 1:00 p.m. (4 hours) (not available until May 4, 2014)
Spider Cave Sunday 1:00 p.m. (4 hours) (not available until May 4, 2014)

Fall/Winter/Spring Visitor Center Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Natural Entrance Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Big Room Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Spring/Summer/Fall 2014 Schedule (5/23/14 - 8/9/14)

Tour Time
King's Palace Daily 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. (Sun/Tues/Thurs/Sat)
Left Hand Tunnel 1:30 p.m. Mon/Weds/Fri
Slaughter Canyon Cave 8:30 a.m. Friday
Lower Cave 8:30 a.m. Sun/Tues/Thurs/Sat
Hall of the White Giant 8:30 a.m. Monday
Spider Cave 8:30 a.m. Wednesday

Summer Visitor Center Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (5/23/14 - 9/1/14)
Natural Entrance Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Big Room Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Please Take Note
White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), a disease in bats that is killing these vital animals by the millions, is a potential threat to Carlsbad Caverns and the bats that live here. The Park's efforts to prevent WNS here may affect what you can wear or bring with you into the cave. Clothing, footwear and handheld items that have previously been worn in caves or mines in certain areas may not be brought into Carlsbad Caverns.

Did You Know?

Permian ocean bottom.

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.