First-Time Visitors

Timed Entry

Timed Entry Tickets Required to Enter Carlsbad Cavern

  • Reservations are strongly recommended and can purchased online or by calling 877-444-6777.
  • Reservations are only for selecting the entry time.
  • Upon arrival at the visitor center, entrance tickets must be purchased.

Click the links below for more information.

Alerts and Conditions

How to Get to the Park

Operating Hours: Visitor Center and Cavern

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.

Ranger-Guided Tours
The King's Palace Tour is now available.
All other tours remain temporarily suspended until further notice.

Audio Guides
Informative audio guides are available to rent at the Western National Parks Association store in the visitor center.

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, hiking boots or hiking shoes with good aggressive tread are required.

Lighting in the Cavern
The cavern is dimly lit. You are welcome to bring a flashlight or headlamp, but it is not necessary.

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.

Online Bookstore

Food and Drinks
Limited options are available at the visitor center from 8 am to 4 pm daily. Food and drinks are prohibited in the cavern except for plain water.

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. To protect the bats, electronic devices are not allowed at the Bat Flight Program and surrounding area. Electronic devices include cameras of any kind, laptop computers, cell phones, iPads, iPods, tablets, and MP3 players.

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 unpaved park trails on the surface, off road, during the Bat Flight Program, or in the visitor center. Pets may not be left unattended in a vehicle. A kennel is available at the visitor center.

Other Things to Know Before You Visit

Frequently Asked Questions


Last updated: June 23, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

3225 National Parks Highway
Carlsbad, NM 88220


575 785-2232

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