Contact: Dave Thomas, 575.785.3097
Contact: Bridget Litten, 575.785.3024
Carlsbad Caverns National Park will once again be offering special lantern tours this holiday season in three areas of the park’s famed Carlsbad Cavern.
The Rock of Ages tour, a Carlsbad Cavern hallmark from 1927 through 1944, will be presented on Saturday, December 22, starting at 5:15 p.m. The tour, held sporadically since 1944, will be led by a ranger portraying the park’s first superintendent Colonel Tom Boles. The tour is limited to 60 people; tickets are $15 for adults and $7.50 for children 4 through 15.
To experience the cave much the way early explorers and visitors to Carlsbad Cavern did, join park staff on a historic lantern tour along the Natural Entrance route. Offered on December 22 and 23, and December 29 and 30, at 3 p.m., each tour is limited to 20 people; tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children 4 though 15.
The Kings Palace area, one of the most highly decorated areas of Carlsbad Cavern, will be lit only by the lanterns carried by park visitors on December 22 and 23, and December 29 and 30. These Kings Palace tours start at noon and are limited to 75 people. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children 4 through 15.
To reserve tickets for any of the special holiday lantern tours, call 575.785. 3152. Tours are limited to children 4 years and up.
The special tours for the holiday season will not affect the park’s normal tour schedule. The self-guided Natural Entrance route will be open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The self-guided Big Room route will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Carlsbad Caverns offers six guided tours year-round—Kings Palace, Left Hand Tunnel, Lower Cave, Slaughter Canyon Cave, Spider Cave and Hall of the White Giant. Reservations are required for all ranger-guided tours. Reservations can be made by calling 1.877.444.6777; they can also be made online at www.Recreation.gov. Entrance fee tickets ($6 for adults, free for children 15 and under) are good for three days and allow visitors to enter the cave on the self-guided Natural Entrance and Big Room tours; additional fees are required for all guided tours.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is open every day of the year except December 25. For more holiday tour information, contact park ranger Dave Thomas at 575.785.3097.
Last updated: February 24, 2015