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gem icon Carlsbad Cavern [Suggest Edits]

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Visitors can enjoy self-guided tours of Carlsbad Cavern. The basic cavern entry is by way of two self-guided routes, the Big Room and the Natural Entrance.

The Big Room is the largest single cave chamber by volume in North America, and is the more popular route. This 1.25 mile tour is relatively flat, and will take about 90 minutes to explore. Visitors will be treated to spectacular views, many different cave formations, and a rope ladder used by explorers in 1924.

The second option, the Natural Entrance Trail, is extremely steep. Depending on if you decide to head up or down, you gain or lose about 750 feet which is equivalent to the height of a 75-story building. This route takes about one hour to complete. Visitors will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of early explorers and several highlights that can be seen along the route include Devil's Spring, the Whale's Mouth, and Iceberg Rock.

For visitors interested in more in-depth tours, the park offer a variety of ranger-led tours. The ranger-guided cave tours require an additional ticket and can be purchased in advance. Reservations are highly recommended for all guided cave tours and require 48 hours advance notice.

Reservations can be made online or by calling 877-444-6777. To learn more about the available tours and to see the current schedule of events, visit the park's website.

Short Hike: Carlsbad Cavern can be accessed by two trails. The Natural Entrance Trail is a steep 1.25 mile descent from the cave entrance to the Big Room. This route is recommended only for those in good shape and should take about 1 hour.

The Big Room Trail can be accessed from either the elevator or the bottom of the Natural Entrance Trail. Allow one to two hours for this 1.25 mile route. Also a short-cut is available that cuts the length and duration in half.

Family Friendly: An amazing underground exploration that the entire family will love.

Gem Type: Cave

Shared by:
Kristen Arendt

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Check-Ins

Aug 3, 2022
Haden Smith
Natural Entrance, Big Room Loop, and King's Palace Tour
May 14, 2022
Connor White
Never before have I seen a cave so gorgeously crafted. Took the full loop through and not once was short of amazed.
May 10, 2022
Timothy Hine
Apr 9, 2022
John Hobbs
Amazing hike down the cave mouth, past iceberg rock and into the Big Room with its rough 3 levels
Mar 24, 2022
Richard Vogel
Great room
Mar 17, 2022
Grace Burns
March 17, 2023.
Mar 15, 2022
David Knapp
Did it
Mar 8, 2022
Ann Hawkins

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Shared by Kristen Arendt on Apr 13, 2018. All Page Views: 789. Last Month: 5.