Cave Tours

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Travel by candlelite on the Left Hand Tunnel Tour.

NPS Photo by Peter Jones.

 
***ALERT*** - On February 6-10 and 13-17 the elevators at Carlsbad Caverns National Park will be out of service. During those ten days, ALL VISITORS must hike in and out of the cavern.

King's Palace and Left Hand Tunnel ranger-guided tours will take place at their regularly scheduled times, however you must allow for the extra time to hike into the cave to meet your tour. Please arrive at least an hour prior to the scheduled beginning of your tour to allow for the hike-in time.

If you are not able to arrive early, or are physically unable to make the hike, a full refund will be granted, either through the reservation service or at the park on the day of your tour. If you have questions please contact Paul Cox at 575-785-3129.

We hope these answer your questions...

  • The cave climate is cool and averages about 56°F (13°C) year-round. You may want to bring a light jacket or sweater. Comfortable, rubber-soled shoes with good traction are appropriate.
  • You may carry plain water with you but no food, gum, mints, or tobacco/vapor products of any kind are permitted.
  • You may take pictures and use flash. Tripods are permitted on self-guided tours only.
  • Use of drones in the cave is strictly prohibited.
  • If you'd like to bring a flashlight, that's perfectly fine - you might see things you would not normally see!
  • Anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older.
  • Strollers: Strollers , baby carriages, and similar devices are prohibited in all caves except as necessary for children with mobility issues, they are allowed within the wheelchair-designated portions of the Big Room of Carlsbad Cavern.
  • Segways: Segways and similar large mobility devices are prohibited in all caves. Cave conditions pose an unacceptable hazard to the safety of the operators of such devices; due to narrow trails , cave ceiling variations, and steep inclines.
  • Wheelchairs/Walkers: Wheelchairs and similar devices are prohibited in all caves except that wheelchairs and walkers are allowed within the wheelchair-designated portions of the Big Room of Carlsbad Cavern.
  • Canes/Walking Aides: The possession and/or use of a recreational walking stick within the cavern is prohibited, except for those individuals with limited mobility in medical need of walking assitance. Visitors with walking sticks must only use them on the paved trail and are required to have a rubber or soft tip.

Please note: If you have been in any cave in the past 10 years with the same shoes/ equipment you are bringing to Carlsbad Caverns, we may ask to clean your items to protect our bats from the spread of a highly contagious and fatal bat fungus. For more information about the disease and park policies, click here.

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Self-Guided Tours (at your own pace)
You may choose one of two ways to enter the cave, by walking the Natural Entrance (steep, 1.25 miles) or taking the elevator down into the Big Room.

Tickets are not sold in advance for self-guided tours, you must purchase them at the visitor center each day, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Days when we are closed. Entrance fee tickets are good for three days but do not include guided or other special tours. More...

Ranger-Guided Tours
Reservations are highly recommended for all guided cave tours and require 48 hours advance notice by calling 877.444.6777 or www.recreation.gov. A general entrance fee ticket is required in addition to the guided tour fee for King's Palace, Left Hand Tunnel, Lower Cave and Hall of the White Giant. Please pick up your ticket at the visitor center 30 minutes prior to your tour. Note:Children under 4 years are not permitted on any of the guided tours offered at Carlsbad Caverns. Minimum age requirements differ for each tour. More...

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

3225 National Parks Highway
Carlsbad, NM 88220

Phone:

(575) 785-2232

Contact Us