Size: 46,766 Acres

Year Established: 1930

Annual Visitors: 349,000

Firearms Information in Carlsbad Caverns National Park

As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law makes it legal for people who can legally own guns under federal, state, and local laws to do so in Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Before entering this park, it is your responsibility to know and follow all state, local, and federal gun laws. You can visit the state’s website, New Mexico Department of Public Safety, to learn more.

Under federal law, guns are still not allowed in places like park visitor centers. At Carlsbad Caverns, guns are not allowed in the visitor center, the restaurant, gift shop, kennel, maintenance yard, park office buildings, or any of the caves where tours are given

Hunting in Carlsbad Caverns National Park

In Carlsbad Caverns National Park, you can’t hunt, shoot at targets, or discharge your gun for any reason.

Additional Information About Carlsbad Caverns National Park

250 million years ago, during the Permian period, a shallow inland sea existed. The remaining acidic groundwater seeped through the ground after the lake dried up, dissolved the limestone below, and formed caverns.

In the cool, wet soil beneath Carlsbad’s Chihuahuan Desert, almost a million Brazilian free-tailed bats make their home. At dusk, they venture outside to hunt insects.

Lechuguilla Cave, one of the longest sections of the cavern, is 140 miles in length. Light shining into the chambers reveals bulbous mounds of calcite, lemon-yellow sulfur deposits, and shimmering gypsum.

The Big Room, which has cathedral-like ceilings and walls, is the most magnificent space inside. It’s over two thousand feet long and teeming with stalactites, including the massive Giant Dome. Sharp stalactites cover the whole 255-foot-high ceiling of the room.

Best Time to Visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The best time to visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park is any time.

Visitor Fee

$15.00 per person per day

Free for U.S. Military Veterans

Interesting in visiting multiple National Parks this year?

Consider the America The Beautiful Annual Park Pass.

This annual park pass to gets you and some friends into all U.S. National Parks for $80.
They also offer Senior, Military, and other discounts.

Visitor Center

Carlsbad Caverns National Park Visitor Center


727 Carlsbad Cavern Hwy,
Carlsbad, NM 88220

Phone Number

(575) 785-2232

Hours of Operation

Daily 8:00 AM–2:15 PM

Be sure to check for seasonal closures.