Deep beneath the Chihuahuan Desert in southern New Mexico is a labyrinth of more than 300 limestone caves, carved over 250 million years ago.
The park also preserves biologically diverse desert lands above ground, as well as a portion of an exposed fossil reef. One of the most notable sights at Carlsbad Cavern is the spectacle of the park’s 400,000 Brazilian free-tailed bats leaving the cave each night at sunset in dramatic clouds of flapping wings; visitors can attend a special ranger program and enjoy this striking exodus from early spring to mid-autumn, before the bats migrate south for the winter.
Lechuguilla Cave at Carlsbad Caverns is the deepest limestone cave in the country, and the fifth-longest known cave in the world.
More about Carlsbad Caverns
Report Oil, Gas Leasing Threatens 7 Western National Parks New report details dangers of development near park lands
Report Polluted Parks: How Dirty Air is Harming America’s National Parks “Polluted Parks” graded the pollution-related damage in the 48 national parks required by the Clean Air Act to have the highest possible air quality.
Magazine Article A Swallow’s Tale A 35-year study of cave swallows at Carlsbad Caverns has solved some abiding mysteries about the songbird.
Magazine Article Fighting Fluff At well-known caves around the country, volunteers armed with tweezers and brushes keep lint—yes, lint—at bay.
I treasure our American shared "ownership" of our National Parks and my private memories of those pieces of our country set aside for us all to protect and enjoy. My parents gave me this insightful "gift" so many years ago by starting me down a path of exploring our National Parks together. As I have done over the years, I will continue to pass on their "gift" to others along the way. What an honor for each individual to embrace our shared Earth in our National Parks' majestic places. Yes, truly an honor. — Susan
Magazine Article In the Dark How do animals adapt to cave life?