Slaughter Canyon Cave Trail is a 1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Whites City, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 1.0 miles Elevation Gain: 462 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly


nature trips


bird watching



wild flowers



no dogs

Slaughter Canyon Cave is only accessible with a guide from the National Park Service. Reservations must be made in advance through, 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.

no shade
1 month ago

Moderate difficulty for seasoned hikers. Treacherous and hard for families with children on their backs. Nevertheless, gorgeous panoramic views leading to the cave.

4 months ago

I really liked this trail. There are some nice mountain and desert views. I didn't do the guided tour into the cave(need a reservation), but you can hike the trail to the cave entrance without a guide. It's a trail worth doing if you want something to do outside of the main Cavern. The trail is short but it is uphill the entire way. 500ft in roughly half a mile is fairly steep.

6 months ago

Guide is not necessary to hike this trail but to see caves you need a a guide. Out & back hike is around 11 miles total if you go all the way to the GTR junction. Pretty steep after first two miles, rocky too. Moderate to difficult hike with beautiful views down into north and middle Slaughter Canyon. Highly recommended day hike but might be difficult to find a camping spot if you’re staying overnight. Little to no traffic.

Sun Jul 10 2016

Slaughter Canyon Cave is a ranger-guided hike in Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It is a separate from the main cavern and is maintained in a more primitive state, without lighting or paved trails. Slots on the tour need to be reserved in advance through It offers a quiet alternative to the sometimes crowded main cavern.

6 months ago

7 months ago

8 months ago

Fri Apr 20 2018