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#40 of 60 national parks in United States of America

Best trails in Carlsbad Caverns National Park

310 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico? AllTrails has 8 great hiking trails, views trails, walking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 4 easy trails in Carlsbad Caverns National Park ranging from 1.2 to 14.7 miles and from 3,651 to 4,566 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Carlsbad Caverns has 117 caves, the longest of which is ove 120 miles (190 km) long. The Big Room is almost 4,000 feet (1,200 m) long, and the caves are home to over 400,000 Mexican Free-tailed Bats and sixteen other species. Above ground are the Chihuahuan Desert and Rattlesnake Springs. Hours vary seasonally. See here for more info: https://www.nps.gov/cave/planyourvisit/hours.htm Entrance Fee All visitors who enter Carlsbad Cavern are required to purchase an entrance ticket, which is good for three days. If you are entering with a pass, please visit the ticket counter for your free admission ticket. Adults (ages 16 and older): $15 per person Children (ages 15 and under): Free Accessibility: The visitor center has designated, handicapped-accessible parking spaces. There are ramps to access the visitor center, theater, gift shop, bookstore, restaurant, and restrooms. There are wheelchair accessible picnic tables near the visitor center at the far east end. Additional accessible tables can be found along Walnut Creek Drive. The Rattlesnake Springs picnic area has accessible tables and restrooms. There is reserved, accessible parking at the Bat Flight area and the top row of the amphitheater has a reserved area for those using wheelchairs. There is an elevator that provides access to The Big Room cavern and trail. The Natural Entrance trail is not considered wheelchair accessible due to its steep grade, and it is not recommended for anyone with heart or breathing conditions. Strollers are also not allowed on this trail unless they are medically-necessary for the child. Ranger-led programs in the park are not considered accessible due to the rugged and steep conditions. Additional accessible trails and facilities information can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/cave/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm

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Map of trails in Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Park information
Acreage:
46,766 acres
Contact
575.785.2232
Helpful links
Top trails (8)
#1 - Carlsbad Caverns Nature Trail
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(213)
Length: 1.2 mi • Est. 32 m
This family-friendly trail mainly traverses the area outside of the caves. The Natural Entrance Trail is the trail that goes inside the caves, and it is rather steep. Accessibility: This trail is paved and typically at least three feet wide. Most of the trail has an estimated grade less than 5% but there is a section at about 0.1 miles where the grade is steeper (about 10%). Caution, the Natural Entrance Trail (section inside the cave) is very steep and is not recommended for people with respiratory or heart conditions.Show more
#2 - Yucca Canyon Trail
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(10)
Length: 3.8 mi • Est. 2 h 31 m
#3 - Slaughter Canyon Cave Trail
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(9)
Length: 1 mi • Est. 43 m
Slaughter Canyon Cave is only accessible with a guide from the National Park Service. Reservations must be made in advance through recreation.gov, and the cost is $30 per person. The trail to the cave is 0.5 miles one-way, and the trail inside the cave varies but typically runs about a mile depending on which parts of the cave the rangers wish to show you. Show more
#4 - North Slaughter Canyon Trail
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(11)
Length: 11.1 mi • Est. 5 h 31 m
#5 - Carlsbad Caverns Highway to Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(26)
Length: 14.7 mi
A scenic drive to Carlsbad Caverns. A scenic drive to Carlsbad Caverns.Show more
#6 - Rattlesnake Canyon
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(12)
Length: 5.4 mi • Est. 2 h 38 m
Please note: Reef Top Circle (Carlsbad caverns scenic loop) access road is closed by the NPS, blocking access to this trail. For updates, please check with the park: https://www.nps.gov/cave/index.htm The trail along the creek bed is poorly marked and infrequently used. Show more
#7 - Juniper Ridge Trail
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(10)
Length: 1.9 mi • Est. 1 h 5 m
#8 - Walnut Canyon Trail
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(16)
Length: 0.3 mi • Est. 8 m