Carlsbad Caverns is a national park that can be enjoyed by everyone. We hope you will enjoy the self-guided tour through the cavern. To add to your enjoyment, we offer accessible parking, picnicking, dining, and visitor center services.
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For entrance into the cavern, the Natural Entrance trail is not Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant due to its steep grade (15%–20%) and therefore not accessible with wheelchairs. We do offer elevator service that can take visitors into and out of the Big Room where you can access the self-guided trail.
The self-guided Big Room route is the only wheelchair accessible route in the caverns. You will find this one mile (2 km) trail after you descend 750 feet (229 m) into the underground rest area. Please note the trail is wet from dripping water and can be slippery, bumpy, uneven and difficult to navigate. It is not ADA approved and should only be attempted with assistance. Maps defining the wheelchair accessible areas can be obtained in the visitor center. Due to steep grades and narrowness of the trail, barriers, and signs have been installed to note the portions that are inaccessible in a wheelchair.
Ranger-led tours are not accessible with wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, or canes due to difficult and rugged trail conditions. Exception: You may use a cane or walking stick on the King's Palace tour if medically needed, but no wheelchairs, walkers, or scooters.
Bat Flight Program
Reserved, accessible parking is available in the "Bat Flight Disabled Parking" area. Please look for the brown sign with the wheelchair icon before you arrive at the visitor center. The very upper row of the Bat Flight Amphitheater features a reserved area for visitors using wheelchairs. A family style accessible restroom is also available.
Visitor Center Parking
Accessible parking is marked with blue reserved signs. The visitor center, theater, gift shop, bookstore, restrooms, and restaurant can be accessed via ramps from the parking lot. You may enter the visitor center via automatic doors in the front.
Accessible picnic tables near the visitor center are located at the far end of the east parking lot as well as south of the restaurant. A few tables can be found along Walnut Canyon Drive--the main paved road from the park entrance.
A section of the self-guided outdoor nature trail near the visitor center is partially accessible to wheelchairs. The trailhead is located in the east parking lot. Please check in at the information desk for more details.
Rattlesnake Springs Picnic Area
Located about 15 miles (24 km) from the visitor center, this grassy area features picnic tables and cooking grills under large cottonwood trees. Accessible restrooms are available as is one accessible picnic table.
A one-hour drive through the Chihuahuan Desert, this low speed, 9.5 mile (15 km) gravel road is suitable for most vehicles except motor homes and cars pulling trailers. The drive begins near the visitor center and a brochure is available upon request at the information desk.
Interpretive signs and bulletin boards are located at pull-outs along the park entrance road. Most are readable from your vehicle.
Last updated: March 30, 2019