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COVID-19 STATUS: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

PARK PHASED REOPENING

Face Masks or Coverings Required in Certain Areas Social Distancing Required
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COVID-19 STATUS: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

PARK PHASED REOPENING

If you believe this information is incorrect or needs updating, please let us know here.
So what does "Park Phased Reopening" mean?

According to the U.S. National Park Service, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is currently working on reopening. This can mean that certain areas are closed. It can include trails, campgrounds, facilities, visitor centers, etc. Visit the source link below for more detailed information regarding this park's status.

What we know:

Currently, Carlsbad Caverns National Park requires reservations to enter the cavern. The below source link has detailed information about cavern reservations and a link to make reservations online. Reservations are NOT available in person at the park. The below source link has more information about the status of the park. The National Park Service requires everyone at this park, regardless of vaccination status, to continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces, such as narrow/busy trails, overlooks, visitor center patios, & other congested areas.

Face Masks or Coverings Required in Certain Areas

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is currently requiring masks or face coverings in certain or all areas. Depending on your vaccination status, if you are not fully vaccinated (meaning two weeks after your final vaccination), and according to CDC guidelines, which currently depends on the COVID-19 transmissibility rate in the community in and around the park. Most parks requiring masks indoors have put an alert out (found below in the Alerts section). Please refer to the U.S. National Park Service, the state of New Mexico and the local community for more detailed information.

Social Distancing Required

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is currently requiring everyone to social distance, 6 feet or more, from others. This usually means outside of your immediate group. Some parks may also have size restrictions on gatherings to help assist in social distancing. Please refer to the U.S. National Park Service, the state of New Mexico and the local community for more detailed information.

Last Updated: August 27, 2021
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Park Alerts (6)

***Discover Our Parks, LLC takes no responsability in the accuracy of these alerts, which are taken directly from NPS.gov, and we provide them for informational purposes only. Please refer to NPS.gov for more information.

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About Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Established as a unit of the national park system in 1923, Carlsbad Caverns National Park preserves Carlsbad Cavern and more than 120 other known caves including Lechuguilla Cave, the nation’s second deepest limestone cave at 1,604 feet and the world’s seventh longest cave. The caves formed over the last 20 million years as sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone of the ancient reef. The park also protects an extraordinary and unique ecological association of bats, cave climate, speleothems, hydrology, cave fauna, and microbes. In 1995, the United Nations recognized the worldwide significance of the spectacular resources of Carlsbad Caverns National Park by designating it as a World Heritage Site. Visitation at the park totaled more than 440,000 in 2015.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in the Guadalupe Mountains, a mountain range that runs from west Texas into southeastern New Mexico. The Guadalupe Mountains are the uplifted portion of an ancient reef that thrived along the edge of an inland sea more than 250 million years ago during the geologic time period known as the Permian Period.

The park encompasses 46,766 acres in the Chihuahuan Desert of southeastern New Mexico, with more than 33,000 acres designated by Congress as wilderness in 1978. The park is one of the few places where portions of this desert are preserved and protected.

The park supports a diverse ecosystem, including habitat for many plants and animals that are at the geographic limits of their ranges. For example, the ponderosa pine reaches its extreme eastern limit here and several species of reptiles are at the edges of their distributions. The park also provides important habitat for top predators such as cougars, and is home to what is perhaps the largest colony of cave swallows in the northern hemisphere. The Bat Cave area in Carlsbad Cavern provides important habitat for a large colony of Brazilian free-tailed bats as a place to give birth and raise young, as well as a stopover from migration.

The park’s cultural resources represent a long and varied continuum of human use and adaptation to the Chihuahuan Desert environment dating to the late Pleistocene Epoch. Twelve to fourteen thousand years ago, American Indians lived in the Guadalupe Mountains; some of their cooking ring sites and pictographs have been found within the present day boundaries of the park. By the 1500s, Spanish explorers were passing through present-day west Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Spain claimed the southwest until 1821 when Mexico revolted and claimed independence. Mexico lost the southwest to the United States at the end of the MexicanAmerican War in 1848. For the next 40 years, conflict persisted in the Carlsbad area between several American Indian tribes and the U.S. government. Human activities, including prehistoric and historic American Indian occupations, homesteading and ranching, guano mining, and resource preservation and tourism, have contributed to the rich and diverse history of the area.

The park has two historic districts in the National Register of Historic Places—the Carlsbad Caverns Historic District and the Rattlesnake Springs Historic District, which include 30 historic structures. The park museum, including the park archives, contains approximately 1 million cultural resource artifacts.

Source: Foundation Document Overview – Carlsbad Caverns National Park

| High ancient sea ledges, deep rocky canyons, flowering cactus, and desert wildlife—treasures above the ground in the Chihuahuan Desert. Hidden beneath the surface are more than 119 caves—formed when sulfuric acid dissolved limestone leaving behind caverns of all sizes. | Carlsbad Caverns National Park | New Mexico | https://www.nps.gov/cave/index.htm

Fast Facts:


Park Weather

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in the Chihuahuan Desert in southeast New Mexico. Summers are hot with temperatures between 90°F (32°C) and low 100s °F (38°C). Windy conditions and mild temperatures are common in early spring (March-May) with frequent rain in early fall (August-September). This part of the country also sees cold temperatures in the winter with occasional snow and icy conditions. Most days, the park is enveloped by a gorgeous blue sky with very few clouds, 278 sunny days a year!