Laws & Policies

Superintendent's Compendium

The Superintendent's Compendium is a collection of rules and regulations specific to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. These rules are set up to ensure the safety of everyone who enjoys our park.

In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 16 United States Code, Section 3, the following regulatory provisions are established for the proper management, protection, government, and public use of those portions of Carlsbad Caverns National Park under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.

Drones / Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft (drone) from or on lands and waters administered by the Department of the Interior within the boundaries of Carlsbad Caverns National Park is prohibited (36 CFR 1.5 (a)(2) Superintendent's Compendium). This restriction is to protect the public from hazards and preserve the park's natural, aesthetic, and scenic values. The use of unmanned aircraft devices, such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones, has the potential to interfere with public safety by posing an in-flight hazard to other legal aircraft use in the park. The use of these devices also has the potential to disrupt wildlife by interrupting migration, nesting, mating, and hunting activities. This restriction is in accordance with NPS Management Policy 8.2 which prohibits recreational uses that conflict with the scenic, natural, and historic values the park was designated to protect, and the associated activities in which individuals seek solitude and tranquility with an expectation of privacy.

Firearms

As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit our state’s website at New Mexico Department of Public Safety.

Federal law continues to prohibit firearms in certain facilities, such as park visitor centers. These facilities are posted with appropriate notices at public entrances. At Carlsbad Caverns, firearms are not allowed in the visitor center, including the restaurant, gift shop, kennel, the park’s maintenance yard, park office buildings, or inside caves where guided tours occur, including Carlsbad Cavern, Slaughter Canyon Cave, and Spider Cave. The new federal law has no effect on existing laws and regulations regarding the use of firearms in national parks or hunting. Hunting, target shooting, and any other use of firearms are not allowed in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Last updated: May 20, 2022

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Mailing Address:

3225 National Parks Highway
Carlsbad , NM 88220

Phone:

575 785-2232

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