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Carlsbad Caverns


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Exploring The Cave
The Big Room
The Big Room

The Big Room Giant

The Big Room Giant
Sights in the Cave

The following is just a list of sight to possibly see in the cave:

  • Natural Entrance
  • Devils Den
  • Witches Finger
  • Iceberg Rock
  • Green Lake Room
  • Kings Palace
  • Queens Chamber
  • Papoose Room
  • Boneyard
  • Rest Area and Lunchroom
  • Jim White Tunnel
  • Hall of Giants
  • Giant Dome
  • Twin Domes
  • Painted Grotto
  • Rock of Ages
  • Crystal Spring Dome
  • Temple of the Sun
  • Caveman Junction
  • Totem Pole
  • Lower Cave
  • Top of the Cross
  • Mirror Lake
  • Bottomless Pit
Cave tour routes wind through the chambers of Carlsbad Cavern. Only a part of the cave can be viewed on public tours. Beyond these passages are more underground rooms, many of them just as exquisitely decorated. Altogether more than 30 miles of caves have been explored. The deepest chamber is 1,027 feet below the surface.

Visitors wishing to explore Carlsbad Caverns may select from three main tour options depending on their time, interests and physical ability. Two of these options follow self guiding routes, the third is a ranger guided tour.

Big Room Route

The basic tour through Carlsbad Cavern is the Big Room Route, a one-mile, self-guiding, underground stroll around the perimeter of the largest room in the cave, the Big Room. Taking approximately one hour, this circular route passes many large and famous features including Bottomless Pit, Giant Dome, and Rock of Ages and Painted Grotto. Highly decorated and immense, the 14 acre Big Room is a "must see" tour for all visitors to the park. Elevators located in the visitor center provide access to the Big Room. The relatively level and well-lighted trails make this the ideal tour for visitors with limited time or walking difficulties.
Site Gallery - Big Room
Big Room Big Room Big Room
Big Room Big Room Big Room
Big Room
To state that this room is BIG is an understatement.
Kings Palace Route

Another option is the Kings Palace tour; a 1.5-hour ranger guided tour through four highly decorated scenic chambers. Departing from the underground rest area, the Kings Palace tour descends to the deepest portion of the cavern open to the public, 830 feet beneath the desert surface.

Although not as difficult as the Natural Entrance route, the one mile tour does require descending and later climbing an eight story hill. Look forward to viewing a variety of speleothems or cave decorations including helectites, draperies, columns and soda straws. Rangers frequently conduct blackout programs during this tour, briefly turning off all artificial lights to reveal the permanent inky blackness of the natural cave environment.

Site Gallery - Kings Palace
Kings Palace Kings Palace Kings Palace
Kings Palace Kings Palace Kings Palace
Natural Entrance Route

The entrance
The entrance

Into the chasm

Into the chasm
The Natural Entrance route is a self-guiding tour available to visitors with plenty of time and in good physical condition. This one-mile tour follows the traditional explorer's route, entering the cavern through the large historic natural entrance.

The Natural Entrance route descends more than 750 feet into the earth following steep and narrow trails through a tall and spacious trunk passage call the Main Corridor. The route culminates in the underground rest area, near the elevators and the Big Room route starting point.

Visitors in good health who plan to take both self-guiding tours may enjoy starting with the Natural Entrance route.

Highlights along this route include Bat Cave, Devil's Spring, Green Lake Overlook and the Boneyard, a complex maze of highly dissolved limestone rock reminiscent of Swiss cheese. Visitors should watch for Iceberg Rock, a single 200,000-ton boulder that fell from the cave ceiling thousands of years ago.

Site Gallery - Natural Entrance
Natural Entrance Natural Entrance Natural Entrance
Natural Entrance Natural Entrance Natural Entrance
Natural Entrance Natural Entrance Yucca at Natural Entrance
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