Carlsbad Caverns National Park Travel Guide

Featuring around 100 different caverns to explore, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is an area of intense natural beauty and one of Texas’ best known and loved natural attractions.

After entering the park, visitors embark on a scenic three-kilometer walk to the mouth of the main cave, which is an impressive 1,800 feet long, measuring 255 feet high and plunging 800 feet below the surface of the earth. Visitors are free to explore at their leisure, while guided tours of the cave are also available.

The most famous cavern here is known simply as the ‘Big Cave’, which also contains the area known as the ‘Big Room’. This is one of the largest cave rooms in the world, although there are several other caverns here which are also noted for their impressive size.

Visitors who venture deep into the Carlsbad Caverns will be treated to the stunning site of stalactites and stalagmites, which shine and glitter in the light provided by torches. Exploring this cave network is an enchanting experience and a must for visitors to this part of the world.

Getting there

The nearest town is Carlsbad, which is just a 30-minute bus ride away. The nearest major airport is in Albuquerque (1 hour), while El Paso is around a 2-hour bus ride away and also boasts an airport. Flights from New York to Albuquerque take around 6 hours, 30 minutes.

In brief

What is it? A huge cavern complex in Texas. 

When to go? Between April and October, when the weather is dry.

Nearest town: Carlsbad, a 30-minute bus ride away.

Don’t miss: watching the Mexican free-tail bat colony head out for an evening feast at sunset.

Trivia: cowboy and guano miner Jim White explored the caverns with a homemade wire ladder as a boy at the end of the 19th century, naming many of the caves and sharing his findings with others.