Carlsbad Caverns National Park Locator Map

Fast Facts

Total Area
46,766 acres
Annual Visitation
381,058 in 2012 (view all years)
Creation Date
May 14, 1930
Entrance Fee
None, but fees to tour caves
Time Zone
Lowest Elevation
3,596 feet at Black River
Highest Elevation
6,535 feet on Guadalupe Ridge
Lowest Average Temp
33F in January
Record Low Temp
-4F in 1962
Highest Average Temp
90F in July
Record High Temp
110F in 1994
Our Last Visit
May 2009

Park Contact Information

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
3225 National Parks Hwy, Carlsbad, NM 88220
Info at (505) 785-2232
Fax to (505) 785-2133

Park Creation Timeline

On October 25, 1923 President Calvin Coolidge signs the proclamation creating Carlsbad Cave National Monument.
On May 14, 1930 Congress passes the bill elevating the monument to national park and renaming it Carlsbad Caverns.
The park is named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

Animals and Plants

Above-ground mammals include mule deer, pronghorn, rocky mountain elk, mountain lions, coyotes, and rarely seen black bears. By far the most common are the bats, of which there are 17 species. The Brazilian free-tailed bats are the most known, and hundreds of thousands exit the cave every night spring through fall. This spectacle is witnessed every night from the Bat Flight Amphitheater. The NPS has prepared a complete list of mammals in the park.
Reptiles above-ground are those common to the desert environment, with many species of lizards and snakes, and even 4 species of turtle. The NPS has prepared a complete list of reptiles and amphibians in the park.
The park is home to 357 known species of birds at least part of the year. The most common to be seen are the cave swallows darting in and out of the natural entrance. The NPS has prepared a complete list of birds in the park.
The park contains a surprising variety of plant communities, but over half of it is covered by shrublands, and that is what is easily seen from the roadways. These include pinchot juniper, ocotillo, prickly pear cactus, creosote, tarbush, and mesquite. Larger trees, such as ponderosa pine and bigleaf maple, occur mainly in drainages and higher elevation areas. The NPS has created an excellent PDF of the park's plant species.

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