First-Time Visitors

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Alerts and Conditions

How to Get to the Park

Visitor Center and Cavern Hours

Entrance Fee
$15 per person (ages 16 and older)
Free (ages 15 and under)
Free with National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes

Enjoy the Cavern at Your Own Pace
The entrance fee includes access to the enjoy, on your own, the majority of Carlsbad Cavern along the Big Room and Natural Entrance trails. Access is available by elevator or hiking.

Bio-Cleaning Mats Help Protect Bats
All visitors who enter the cavern are required to walk on bio-cleaning mats after exiting. This extraordinary measure is due to the potential presence of the fungus which causes White-nose Syndrome in New Mexico.

Ranger-Guided Tours
There are a variety of easy to challenging ranger-guided tours offered. Reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance by phone at 877-444-6777 or online at For some ranger-guided tours, hiking boots or hiking shoes with good aggressive tread are required.

Footwear in the Cavern
Some areas of the Big Room and Natural Entrance trails are wet from natural water drips and steep. For safety, closed-toe shoes with good traction (e.g. lug soles) are recommended. Flip flops, sandals, and some walking shoes have little or no traction and increase the possibility of slips, trips, and falls. Watch your step and use the handrails when necessary. For some ranger-guided tours, sturdy, lace-up hiking boots that cover the ankle are required.

Food and Drinks
A variety of food and drink options are available at the visitor center. Water bottle filling stations are available at the visitor center restrooms and the restrooms near the Bat Flight Amphitheater.

Bat Flight Program
Each evening from late-May through October, enjoy a ranger program about the Brazilian free-tailed bats that live in Carlsbad Cavern and see them emerge.

Service Animals
Dogs that are trained to do work or perform tasks for people with dis­abilities are permitted in the Big Room and Natural Entrance trails, King's Palace, and the Bat Flight Amphitheater. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, therapy or emotional support dogs are not considered service animals and therefore are not permitted in the cavern.


Traveling with Pets
Pets are not allowed in the cavern, on park trails, off road, at bat flight, or in the visitor center. A kennel is available at the visitor center.

Other Things to Know Before You Visit


Last updated: February 2, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

3225 National Parks Highway
Carlsbad, NM 88220


(575) 785-2232

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