Slaughter Canyon Cave Tour

Cavers  look at the Mushroom formation in Slaughter Canyon Cave.
Slaughter Canyon Cave is home to massive formations such as the Christmas Tree, the Monarch, and the Mushroom (pictured here).

NPS/Pam Cox


Slaughter Canyon Cave is a moderately-strenuous adventure tour. This tour will take you into an underground wilderness without electricity, paved walkways, or modern conveniences. The cave trails are narrow, uneven, and very slippery. In this wild cave, darkness is broken only by the flashlights and headlamps of rangers and tour members. Highlights of the tour may include the 89-foot high Monarch, one of the world's tallest columns; the Christmas Tree, a sparkling, crystal-decorated column; and the Chinese Wall, a delicate, ankle-high rimstone dam. Old bat guano mining excavations attest to the human history and impact in the cave.

Reservations are required for Slaughter Canyon Cave. Make reservations by calling 877-444-6777 or visit

Cost: Tickets are $15.00 for adults and $7.50 for children, Senior and Access Pass holders.

Duration: 5.5 hours

When: Check the tour schedule posted online.

Where: The tour meets at the Visitor Center where you will caravan in your vehicle.

The strenuous half-mile hike up to the cave entrance takes 30-45 minutes.

Age Limit: Minimum age is 8 years old. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Maximum Group Size: 16

Requirements: Three (3) AA batteries.

Closed-toed shoes or hiking boots required. For safety, sandals, flip flops, or similar shoes are not permitted. Drinking water, sunscreen, and a hat are recommended.

Walking sticks are allowed on the hiking trail to the cave entrance, however, NOT allowed inside the cave.

Last updated: March 3, 2018

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Mailing Address:

3225 National Parks Highway
Carlsbad, NM 88220


(575) 785-2232

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