Dawn of the Bats

Children watch bats return to Carlsbad Cavern at dawn.
Children watch bats return to Carlsbad Cavern at dawn.

NPS

Dawn of the Bats is an annual event that celebrates the bats of Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Join us to discover the incredible lives of these nighttime creatures through ranger-led programs and hands-on activities. Dawn of the Bats takes place on the third Saturday of July each year.

Saturday, July 21

5:30 am
Bats Return: Start the day by viewing the return of the Brazilian free-tailed bats to Carlsbad Cavern in the Bat Flight Amphitheater.

6:30-7:30 am
Nature Hike: Explore the life of bats at Carlsbad Caverns National Park on a ranger-guided nature walk. The walk will begin shortly after sunrise from the Bat Flight Amphitheater.

6:30-7:30 am
Bats: Myths and Legends: Before the visitor center opens, join Ranger Kelli for a talk in the Bat Flight Amphitheater.

7:30-8:30 am
Wake up the Cavern: Be the first to enter Carlsbad Cavern for the day! Walk one of the cavern trails with a ranger as he/she turns on the lights for the day. Limit of 10 visitors per trail. Participants must sign up at the information desk in the visitor center the day before.

8 am
Visitor Center Opens: Entrance tickets available for purchase.

8:30 am
Cavern Access Opens: Tickets are required for all cavern entry.

8 am-12:30 pm
Bat Discovery Station: Learn about the fascinating life of bats at Carlsbad Caverns National Park and around the world. Rangers will be available in the alcove next to the ticket counter.

9-9:30 am
Winged Wonders: Listen to bat stories told through song. Meet Ranger Katie in the visitor center theater.

10-11am
Junior Ranger Program—Bats 101: Join Ranger Leah in the visitor center’s Junior Ranger Station to learn about bats through hands-on activities and earn a Junior Ranger badge.

11-11:30 am
Winged Wonders: Listen to bat stories told through song. Meet Ranger Katie in the visitor center theater.

1-1:45 pm
Something Wicked This Way Comes: Join Ranger Pam to learn about a deadly disease that is killing bats throughout North America and how you can help. Meet in the visitor center exhibit hall near the Natural Entrance doors.

3:30-4 pm
Can You See Me Now?: Have you ever wondered how many bats live in Carlsbad Cavern? Join Ranger Charlie to explore how scientists study and count the bats of Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Meet in the alcove next to the ticket counter.

4:30-5 pm
Inside the Roost: The bat roost inside Carlsbad Cavern is a refuge, a nursery, and an ecosystem. The roost was also a source of profit. Join Ranger Chris for a look into this hidden world. Meet in the room next to the visitor center theater.

5:45-6 pm and 6:10-6:25 pm
The Desert Above: Join Ranger Toni to learn how bats survive drought and
extreme heat in the Chihuahuan Desert. Meet at the 3D map of the cavern in the visitor center exhibit hall.

7:15 pm*
Bat Flight Program: Watch the Brazilian free-tailed bats exit the Natural Entrance of Carlsbad Cavern as they begin their nightly search for food and water. The program takes place in the Bat Flight Amphitheater.

*Bat Flight Program time subject to change based on previous flight times, please check with the information desk in the visitor center the day of for confirmation.

Last updated: May 20, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

3225 National Parks Highway
Carlsbad, NM 88220

Phone:

(575) 785-2232

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