Discover the subterranean wonderland of Carlsbad Caverns National Park, considered by many to be the Eighth Wonder of the World. The stalagmites, stalactites and flowstone began their formation from just a single drop of water some 250 million years ago. Take a guided tour that reveals the area's rich geologic history then stay to watch the Bat Flight, when thousands of bats leave the cave on their nightly foray for food (Memorial weekend-Labor day weekend). Enjoy a 9.5-mile scenic drive through spectacular desert landscape and explore more than 50 miles of primitive backcountry hiking trails. The park is one of only 20 World Heritage Sites in the U.S.
Open daily except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days.
Reservations are required for all guided tours.
Self-guided tours consists of two choices: The first choice is to walk down the 1.25 mile (2 km) Natural Entrance Trail, 750 feet (229 m) into the cavern. The trail is a steep, asphalt, switchback route that winds down into the Big Room. This trail is not recommended for those with heart or respiratory issues.
The second self-guided tour is walking in the "Big Room," another 1.25 mile (2 km) path that takes you through a very large cave chamber. You may access the Big Room by walking down the Natural Entrance or taking the elevator into the cavern.
Reservations are highly required for all guided cave tours and require 48 hours advance notice by calling 877.444.6777 or www.recreation.gov. An entrance ticket is required in addition to the guided tour fee for King's Palace, Left Hand Tunnel, Hall of the White Giant, Lower, Spider, and Slaughter Canyon caves. Please pick up your ticket at the visitor center 30 minutes prior to your tour. Note: Children under 4 years old are not permitted on any of the guided tours offered at Carlsbad Caverns. Minimum age requirements differ for each tour.
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