Subterranean structures and diverse desert landscapes call to hikers with their incalculable beauty and scale. Come and discover these unmissable treks:
Descend 73 stories into the depths of the desert to explore spectacular caverns. This unique trail offers visitors an insight into the complex underground ecosystem in the park, along with spellbinding sights of vast caverns adorned with chandeliers of limestone-formed stalactites.
Some have likened the caverns that you'll discover along Big Room Trail to an inverted Grand Canyon. Big Room takes you through winding passages to see remarkable caverns and a rope ladder used in the 1920s. The centerpiece is the largest cavern in North America. While the full trail takes an average of 90 minutes to complete, there is also a shorter, 45-minute version of the trail, and sections of it are wheelchair accessible.
Explore this remarkable region along winding, carefully marked trails. Rattlesnake Springs is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more about its heritage through the exhibits at the visitor center. Here, you can journey through history, charting humans' imprints on the parkland. American Indian, European, and industrial histories infuse the natural landscapes with rich cultural heritage. Over 300 species have been discovered here.
Miracles of nature greet you everywhere you look at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. From rare desert wildlife to remarkable limestone formations beneath the park's surface, there are plenty of outdoor adventures to enjoy. Here are some of the most special:
A carpet of stars unfurls over the park with the setting of the sun. It's impossible not to be enthralled by this unique opportunity to stare deep into the mysteries of space through powerful telescopes. Night sky events focus on the park's nocturnal inhabitants, local mythology, and, of course, astronomy.
Discover the most biologically varied desert in the Western Hemisphere. Stretching for 200 million acres, the desert spills into Mexico and burgeons with more species of cacti than any other desert. Discover the variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects that call this ecosystem home, including cougars and around 600 insect species.
Explore the Permian-age fossil reef partially encompassed within the park's boundary. The reef, the best preserved in the world, bears the scars of climate change, including fossils from an ancient sea. Sponges and algae, snails, and ammonite shells adorn this vast stretch of sedimentary rock. Chart the formation of the Guadalupe Mountains and their connection with the caves below.
Junior Rangers are encouraged to pursue their passion for the great outdoors through thrilling programs and educational events. Here are some of the priorities for families seeking fun and edification:
Children can earn a patch, which they will receive through the mail, by playing educational games that teach them about the national park system. Carlsbad Caverns offers three activity books pitched at children aged 0-6 years, 7-12 years, and over 13 years. Each has been specially designed to promote interaction with the dramatic environment of Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
There's nothing quite like witnessing thousands of bats flutter in a cloud from the amphitheater at the mouth of Carlsbad Caverns. Between May and October, ranger-guided talks on the bats' habitat take you deep into the biology and behavior of these fascinating creatures. This free program is one of the main enticements of Carlsbad Caverns National Park cabins.
See the caverns' unique geology and biodiversity through the eyes of the rangers who manage the park on thrilling guided tours. Explore the marvels of the White Giant, Spider, and Slaughter Canyon caves as you progress further into the spectacular cave system that makes sojourns to Carlsbad Caverns National Park life altering.