• 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.

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.

Tour Schedule (8/10/14-12/31/14)

Tour Time
King's Palace 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 daily. (tour length: 1.5 hours)
Left Hand Tunnel 1:30 p.m. daily (2 hours)
Slaughter Canyon Cave 8:30 a.m. Friday - not offered in Nov or Dec (5.5 hours)
Lower Cave 8:30 a.m. Sun/Tues/Thurs/Sat (3 hours)
Hall of the White Giant 8:30 a.m. Monday (4 hours)
Spider Cave 8:30 a.m. Wednesday (4 hours)

Visitor Center Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Natural Entrance Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (hiking in); Hiking out of the Natural Entrance, you must be underway by 2:30 p.m. and on the surface by 4:00 p.m.
Big Room Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 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 need to be cleaned before entering Carlsbad Caverns. Rangers will provide the cleaning process for shoes, cameras and other equipment.

Did You Know?

Jim White in Carlsbad Cavern.

Jim White is the cowboy credited with being the premier explorer of Carlsbad Cavern. He began to explore the cave as a teenager in 1898, using a handmade wire ladder to descend 60 feet into the cave. For more than a decade, he couldn't convince many locals that there was much to Carlsbad Cavern.