- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Though the park covers a huge expanse above ground (and there are paved roads traversing the grounds), most of the parts you'll want to see are below the surface. Routes through the caverns are paved and well maintained, and portions of the paved Big Room trails in Carlsbad Caverns are accessible to wheelchairs. A map defining appropriate routes is available at the visitor center information desk. Strollers are not permitted on trails (use a baby pack instead). Individuals who may have difficulty walking should access the Big Room via elevator.
Admission Fees and Permits
No fee is charged for parking or to enter the above-ground portion of the park. It costs $6 to descend into Carlsbad Caverns either by elevator or through the Natural Entrance. Costs for special tours range from $7 to $20 plus general admission.
Those planning overnight hikes must obtain a free backcountry permit, and all hikers are advised to stop at the visitor center information desk for current information about trails. Trails are poorly defined, but can be followed with a topographic map. Dogs are not allowed in the park, but a kennel is available at the park visitor center.
The park is open year-round, except Christmas Day. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, tours are conducted from 8:30 to 5; the last entry into the cave via the Natural Entrance is at 3:30, and the last entry into the cave via the elevator is at 5. After Labor Day until Memorial Day weekend, tours are conducted from 8:30 to 3:30; the last entry into the cave via the Natural Entrance is at 2, and the last entry into the cave via the elevator is 3:30. Carlsbad Caverns is in the mountain time zone.
There are no ATMs in the park; the nearest ones are in White's City or Carlsbad.
Automobile Service Station
White's City 24-Hour Shell. This gas station has no attendant, but the self-serve pumps are available 24/7; credit cards only. Expect prices to be slightly higher than those in Carlsbad. 17 Carlsbad Caverns Hwy., White's City, NM, 88268. 800/228–3767.
Cell phones only work about 10% of the time in the park. Public telephones are at the visitor center.
In the event of a medical emergency, dial 911, contact a park ranger, or report to the visitor center. To contact park police dial 575/785-2232, locate a park ranger, or report to the visitor center. Carlsbad Caverns has trained emergency medical technicians on duty and a first-aid room. White's City has emergency medical technicians available to respond to medical emergencies. A full-service hospital is in nearby Carlsbad.
Part Contact Information
Carlsbad Caverns National Park (3225 National Parks Hwy., Carlsbad, NM, 88220. 575/785-2232; 877/444-6777 cave tour reservations. www.nps.gov/cave.)
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