Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Buried beneath the surface of the Chihuahuan Desert are more than 120 caves that make up Carlsbad Caverns: New Mexico’s very first—and moodiest— national park. Explore the caverns on your own via the Big Room and Natural Entrance Trails, or take a ranger-guided tour into the park’s more technical caves, like King’s Palace and Hall of the White Giant. Honorable Mentions: Cibola National Forest, Cloudcroft, Cochiti Canyon, Chaco Canyon, Capulin Volcano National Monument, Cabezon Peak, Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, Cafe Pasqual’s

Explore through dynamic caverns, amongst desert flowers, and alongside fascinating wildlife at this rugged New Mexican national park. Featuring ancient sea ledges, deep canyons, and more than 100 underground caves to uncover.

You can dive under the Guadalupe Mountains and discover what’s certainly one of the most enthralling cave systems in the USA at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Discovered in 1898, the seemingly endless array of chambers and channels here weave through strange mineral formations and resplendent water pools fringed by dustings of oxide, not to mention stalactites with curious names like the Totem Pole and the Iceberg Rock. A planned walking route through the caves starts at the excellent visitor’s center.

The ranger-led tour of the King’s Palace takes you into the deepest part of the cave system open to the public, at 830 feet beneath the surface. The King’s Palace contains more stalactites and stalagmites than any other part of the Carlsbad Caverns, making it arguably the most visually impressive part of the complex.

Our young kids loved the Natural Entrance Trail, a 1.25 mile hike down to the base of the cave and still had some energy left to see some of the Big Room. Thankfully we were only able to take the elevator back up or we might not have gotten out!

Caving, hiking

I remember going here as a kid — of course, it looked 100x more massive at the time, but it's still a freakin' giant chain of caves that are hard to wrap your mind around. Also, you can see a bunch of bats fly out of the caves at sunset which is pretty gnarly.

You can dive under the Guadalupe Mountains and discover what’s certainly one of the most enthralling cave systems in the USA at the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Discovered in 1898, the seemingly endless array of chambers and channels here weave through strange mineral formations and resplendent water pools fringed by dustings of oxide, not to mention stalactites with curious names like the Totem Pole and the Iceberg Rock. A planned walking route through the caves starts at the excellent visitor’s center.

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Carlsbad Caverns National Park Lists

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