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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.

Length 1.0 mi Elevation gain 462 ft Route type Out & Back
Kid friendly Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Cave Views Wild flowers Wildlife Fee No dogs
Description
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Facilities
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Getting There

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.

There is a pair of vault toilets at the trailhead.

You must book your reservation in advance through recreation.gov. Follow the instructions in the email you will receive after booking your reservation.

Parties will meet at the Carlsbad Canyons visitor center prior to beginning the hike. You will drive from the visitor center to the trailhead.

Weather
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Reviews (10)
Photos (5)
Recordings (10)
Completed (27)
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Tim Lewis
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HikingBugsNo shadeRockyScramble

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

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Ricky Marksberry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 20, 2020
Hiking

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.

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Jeremy Clayton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 13, 2019
Hiking

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.

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Jewel Riley
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Hiking
First to Review

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 recreation.gov. It offers a quiet alternative to the sometimes crowded main cavern.

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Alex Jackson
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Hiking
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Julian Sheppy
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Hiking
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Daniel Fox
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Hiking
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THULEYE 靳
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Hiking
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Sandra Gonzalez
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Hiking
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Craig Tyler
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Hiking
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