News Release

Update: Park Modifying Operations to Implement Latest Health Guidance

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Date: March 20, 2020
Contact: Michael Larson

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is announcing modifications to operations to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing. As of March 21, 2020, the cavern and visitor center, including the gift shop, restaurant, and bookstore, are closed until further notice. In addition, ranger-guided tours have been cancelled. Park roads, desert trails, and picnic areas will remain open.

These closures and cancellation address New Mexico’s Mass Gathering Order that advises the public to take numerous preventative precautions, such as to avoid close contact with people who are sick, to the extent possible, avoid touching high‐touch surfaces in public places—elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc., and to avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID‐19 may increase in crowded, closed‐in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Carlsbad Caverns National Park is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.

The NPS urges visitors to do their part when visiting a park and to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.

For high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, we ask that they take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness.

Updates about NPS operations will be posted on Please check with individual parks for specific details about park operations.

Last updated: March 23, 2020

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Mailing Address:

3225 National Parks Highway
Carlsbad, NM 88220


(575) 785-2232

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