Dawn of the Bats

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


Hundreds of thousands of Brazilian free-tailed bats call Carlsbad Cavern home from April through October. It's tradition to watch their mass exodus from the cavern each evening. But each year on the third Saturday of July, we gather at dawn to watch their return. Join us for this annual celebration in the Bat Flight Amphitheater as these creatures of the night dive back into the darkness of the Carlsbad Cavern. After the bats return, join us for bat-related activities throughout the day in the visitor center, and end the day with the Bat Flight Program in the Bat Flight Amphitheater.

  • Dawn of the Bats is free. Some activities may require signing up the day before.
  • The Bat Flight Program is free. There are no reservations.
  • To protect the bats, electronic devices are not allowed at either of these programs. Electronic devices include cameras of any kind, laptop computers, cell phones, iPads, iPods, tablets, and MP3 players.
  • Spaces to accommodate wheelchairs are located at the entrance to the Bat Flight Amphitheater.
  • Restrooms are available and fully accessible.
  • Pets are not allowed in the amphitheater.

Program times vary from year to year. Dawn of the Bats typically starts around 5 am. In July, the Bat Flight Program typically starts around 7:30 pm.

Last updated: December 22, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

3225 National Parks Highway
Carlsbad, NM 88220


575 785-2232

Contact Us