COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Vacation Travel Guide

Carlsbad Caverns National Park featuring caves as well as an individual male

See the wondrous geologic formations in a vast underground cavern system. Cave facilities offer easy walks or adventurous climbs and crawls. 

Explore Carlsbad Caverns National Park’s underground ecosystems. Rainwater passing through soil has formed acids. These solutions dripped through native limestone, picking up minerals and then creating fascinating deposits called speleothems.

Descend an elevator roughly 79 stories and follow the 1.3-mile (2-kilometer) Big Room Trail. Alternatively, walk down the steep, serpentine 1.3-mile (2-kilometer) Natural Entrance Trail to reach the Big Room.

Notice how calcium deposits have built stalactites and stalagmites, some eventually joining as columns. Nature has decorated the caves with mineral features of draperies, thin straws, popcorn-shaped nodules and oddly curved helictites.

Rent an audio guide to understand the history and geology of the caves. Reserve a spot on a ranger-led tour, which includes more rigorous climbing and crawling into narrow passageways. Your tour may pass through chambers with interesting names: King's Palace, Spider Cave and Hall of the White Giant. In Slaughter Canyon Cave, deposits take the shape of a sparkling Christmas tree.

Surprisingly, this vast underground attraction is equipped with facilities you might expect at an aboveground park: paved walkways, handrails, artificial lighting, restrooms, water fountains and a snack bar. Dress appropriately for the cave’s year-round cool, humid conditions.

When you return to the surface, enjoy the park’s aboveground features. The Chihuahuan Desert is great for backcountry trekking past cacti and canyons. Visit the park museum, with over 1 million artifacts from the area’s more than 10,000 years of human history.

Stay for the evening Bat Flight ranger talk. From May to October, watch thousands of bats leaving the cave every night for their nocturnal wanderings.

Carlsbad Caverns is open year-round except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Purchase a park entry pass good for 3 days or use an annual National Park Service interagency pass. Guided cave tours have an additional fee. Some trail segments are accessible to wheelchairs. The park’s New Mexico location is about a 1.5-hour drive from Roswell and just over 2 hours from El Paso, Texas.

U.S. national parks offer affordable access to tall peaks and deep caverns. Enjoy your visit to the fascinating underground world of Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Top Hotels Close to Carlsbad Caverns National Park

White's City Cavern Inn
White's City Cavern Inn
2.5 out of 5
17 Carlsbad Cavern Hwy, Carlsbad, NM
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $100 per night from May 17 to May 17
Located in Whites City, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Carlsbad Caverns National Park and 7.4 mi (12 km) from Carlsbad Caverns National Park Visitor Center. ...
4.1/5Very Good! (513 reviews)
"Really clean and helpful staff."

Reviewed on May 16, 2021

White's City Cavern Inn
Hyatt House Carlsbad
Hyatt House Carlsbad
3.5 out of 5
4019 NATIONAL PARKS HWY, Carlsbad, NM
The price is $110 per night from May 21 to May 21
Situated in Carlsbad, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Carlsbad Museum & Art Center, Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area, and Carlsbad Water Park. Riverwalk Recreation ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (61 reviews)
"Awesome experience"

Reviewed on May 4, 2021

Hyatt House Carlsbad
Karbani Inn
Karbani Inn
2.5 out of 5
5012 National Parks Hwy, Carlsbad, NM
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $55 per night from May 17 to May 17
Situated in Carlsbad, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Carlsbad Museum & Art Center, Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area, and Carlsbad Water Park. Riverwalk Recreation ...
4.4/5Excellent! (66 reviews)
"Karbani Inn is clean, comfortable, and very convenient. The staff is gracious and helpful. The location is great. I wanted to visit Carlsbad Caverns and this inn was a great place to stay, as it's just a short drive from the park! Coffee and breakfast burrito from the truck on-premises was lovely ..."

Reviewed on May 6, 2021

Karbani Inn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Carlsbad Caverns National Park Flight + Hotel Deals

Target Hospitality-Seven Rivers Lodge Carlsbad
Target Hospitality-Carlsbad Lodge
Stevens Inn
Don't see what you're looking for?
See all available trips from Ashburn to Carlsbad Caverns National Park
View all trips

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Carlsbad Caverns National Park

10 national parks to visit in the fall

10 national parks to visit in the fall

10 national parks to visit in the fall
Road Trip Time: 9 National Parks to Visit This Summer

Road Trip Time: 9 National Parks to Visit This Summer

Road Trip Time: 9 National Parks to Visit This Summer

Popular places to visit in Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Choose one or more items to build your trip:

Best Lodging Options Near Carlsbad Caverns National Park

White's City Cavern Inn
White's City Cavern Inn
2.5 out of 5
17 Carlsbad Cavern Hwy, Carlsbad, NM
The price is $100 per night from May 17 to May 17
White's City Cavern Inn
Hyatt House Carlsbad
Hyatt House Carlsbad
3.5 out of 5
4019 NATIONAL PARKS HWY, Carlsbad, NM
The price is $110 per night from May 21 to May 21
Hyatt House Carlsbad
Karbani Inn
Karbani Inn
2.5 out of 5
5012 National Parks Hwy, Carlsbad, NM
The price is $55 per night from May 17 to May 17
Karbani Inn
Motel 6 Carlsbad, NM
Motel 6 Carlsbad, NM
2 out of 5
3824 National Parks Hwy, Carlsbad, NM
The price is $47 per night from May 20 to May 20
Motel 6 Carlsbad, NM
La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Carlsbad
La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Carlsbad
2.5 out of 5
4020 National Parks Hwy, Carlsbad, NM
The price is $84 per night from Jun 4 to Jun 4
La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Carlsbad
Sleep Inn & Suites
Sleep Inn & Suites
2.5 out of 5
3825 National Parks Hwy, Carlsbad, NM
The price is $95 per night from Jun 4 to Jun 4
Sleep Inn & Suites
Standard Room With Single bed
Standard Room With Single bed
Carlsbad, NM
Standard Room With Single bed
MainStay Suites
MainStay Suites
2.5 out of 5
3621 SAN JOSE BLVD, Carlsbad, NM
The price is $109 per night from May 21 to May 21
MainStay Suites
Days Inn by Wyndham Carlsbad
Days Inn by Wyndham Carlsbad
2.5 out of 5
3910 National Parks Highway, Carlsbad, NM
The price is $76 per night from May 23 to May 23
Days Inn by Wyndham Carlsbad
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.