Carlsbad Caverns National Park

New Mexico, United States of America

Family Friendly

About Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Established in 1930, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is in the Guadalupe Mountains in south-eastern Mexico. It covers 189.2 km2 (73 sq mi) and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While most national parks focus on the great outdoors, at Carlsbad Caverns visitors are encouraged to go underground and see what the Earth itself can do to take your breath away! There are over 117 caves, three of which are open to the public.

Flora and Fauna

The park is home to seventeen species of bats which can be seen above and below ground. Two thirds of the park are set aside as a wilderness area, and although the main attraction of the park is the show cave, there is plenty to see outside as well. Because of the habitat, there are almost no varieties of plant in the park which don’t have spines on them, from cacti to prickly pears, so visitors should be aware that extensive hiking may not be the easiest pastime!


According to the National Park Service report for 2007-2012, the park received in average 401,520 visitors annually.


No trip would be complete without visiting the Carlsbad Caverns themselves. The main cave complex contains the Big Room, the third largest chamber in North America and the seventh largest in the world; which is full of stalactites and stalagmites in astonishing formations. Access is possible via an elevator but the natural entrance, although trickier, will allow a better view of how the cave was formed. Several other named caverns here and elsewhere in the park are open to explore.

Above ground, there are three hiking trails and an unpaved drive for viewing the desert scenery. Camping is allowed in the park by permit only. Other activities include viewings of bat flights and star-gazing.

Family Friendly

Althought Carlsbad Caverns National Park is considered family friendly, children 3 years of age and under are not permitted on any of the guided tours in the caverns.

Landscape Photography
Guided Tours
New Mexico, United States of America
Latitude: 32.173801, Longitude: -104.446657