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
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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.
They offer so much--in tangibles measured in acres and miles, and in things impossible to quantify, such as scenery, solitude, and serenity. The return on investment for a park-goer is unbelievable; where else can you spend so little and get so much education, exercise, and relaxation? National Parks are the world's backyard, preserved for the future, places where anyone can go find who and what they love. — Abram
Magazine Article In the Dark How do animals adapt to cave life?