Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Practicalities
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Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park (Corbis)

Visitor Center/Exhibits
The visitor center is open every day except December 25. It is your first stop on your visit to the cave. Here you can purchase tickets beginning at 8:30 a.m. each morning. Tickets may also be purchased at hotels in Carlsbad and White's City—and then presented at the visitor center information desk for validation.

The visitor center features exhibits on bats, geology, cave restoration, and park history. There is also a children's exhibit which includes a variety of pictures, games, and hands-on material. The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce recently installed a special touch-screen computer to provide information about local attractions and exhibits featuring state and local maps.

While the park does not offer the standard "movie" found at many national parks, there is a short self-serve video available with closed captioning in Spanish or English. This video serves as an introduction to the bats of Carlsbad Caverns and is particularly appreciated by off-season visitors who miss the bat flight phenomena.

Picnic Areas
A very few picnic tables are available at the visitor center near the flagpole and under a tree in the west parking lot. More are available at Rattlesnake Springs, 23 miles from the visitor center. A large number of picnic tables are available in the Underground Rest Area in the cave.

Lodging and Camping Facilities
Not available in the park. Lodging and camping are both available in Whites City near the park entrance and in Carlsbad, 23 miles northeast.

Weather
If you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes.

The weather in southern New Mexico can change quickly at any time of the year. Winter is often cold and dry with rare snow and ice storms. Spring is known to be extremely windy. Summer is very hot and violent lightening storms are not uncommon in the evenings. Fall is usually mild and without extremes. Call 800-432-4269 for road conditions in New Mexico and 505-885-1848 for Carlsbad weather. Of course, the weather in the cave is a mild 56 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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