Carlsbad Caverns: Your Destination For Adventure

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carlsbad bat cave entrance

There’s something mysterious about caves, something that calls us to want to explore them. Before you put your RV away for the winter you might want to plan one last trip to Carlsbad Caverns, in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Around 119 caves can be found beneath the rugged landscape of shrubs, rocks, and dramatic slopes. So what are you waiting for? Read more to start planning your vacation to this destination.

Fun Fact: Bones from ice age animals like jaguars, camels, lions and giant sloths have been found in the entrance areas of some caves in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Operating Hours

From now until May of 2015 the visitor’s center is open from 8am to 5pm. The natural entrance and elevator to the cavern open at 8:30. If you’re planning on hiking in the latest you can do so is at 2:30, while hiking out closes at 2:30. You must be at the surface by 4pm otherwise they’ll send in the search crew! The last elevator into the cave is at 3:30pm and out at 4:30. Please note the park is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Where to Stay

Lodging is not available at Carlsbad Caverns, however, you are welcome to camp in the back country, which is located about a half-mile from roads and parking lots. You can get a free parking permit to do this at the visitor’s center. Boarding for your pet is also available at the park so you can bring fido along with you!

About The Park

The southwest desert ecosystem supports an incredibly diverse range of mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. From cougars to rattlesnakes to bats, you’ll find all creatures great and small that call this protected area of the Chihuahua Desert home. With a peak elevation of 6,520 feet, the park offers gorgeous peaks and valleys that you’ll want to bring your camera to capture. With a mean average temperature of 63 degrees Fahrenheit you can rest confident that you’ll enjoy the time you spend here.


From self guided tours to bat watching to ranger guided cave tours, there’s something for everyone to do. Whether you’re super active or looking for a low key activity, you’ll love what is available to you here. Either way you’ll learn about the natural history of the park, including information about how it formed millions of years ago and used to be under water!

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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