Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Overview

Beneath the rugged land of rocky slopes and canyons, lies a hidden underground treasure. Carlsbad Caverns National Park is home to more than 117 known caves - all formed as sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone. The Big Room will give visitors a peak into the main section of a cave, while guided tours of varying difficulties can be reserved in advance. Opportunities for hiking and backcountry camping are also available with permits. Join in on one of the programs in the visitor center, or during the summer watch the incredible exodus of Mexican free-tail bats out of Carlsbad Cavern at dusk. The park is also known for its star party events and night sky programs.

Map

Seasonality / Weather

Carlsbad Caverns averages 14.9 inches of annual precipitation with a monsoon season that usually occurs from July through September. The park has a semi-arid climate with generally mild winters and warm to hot summers. The average annual high temperature is 74 F and the average annual low temperature is 50 F with a mean annual temperature of 63 F.

The cave climate is cool and varies little from the annual 56 F average temperature. A light jacket or sweater, and comfortable shoes with rubber soles for good traction are appropriate year-round.

Directions

Driving: 

To access Carlsbad Caverns National Park, turn north from US Hwy 62/180 at Whites City, New Mexico. This will be 16-miles southwest of Carlsbad, New Mexico, and 150-miles northeast of El Paso, Texas. The entrance road stretches a scenic, seven-miles from the park gate at Whites City, to the visitor center and cavern entrance.

Flying: 

Mesa Airlines offers passenger service between Carlsbad and Albuquerque. Major airlines serve Albuquerque, El Paso, Lubbock, and Midland, Texas. Rental cars and taxi service are available from the airport at Carlsbad.

Public Transport: 

Carlsbad is served by Greyhound and TNM&O bus lines.