- Carlsbad Cavern National Park was developed to protect numerous caves within a Permian-age fossil reef. The park contains 83 separate caves, including the nation's deepest limestone cave of 1,597 feet (486.8 m). Carlsbad Cavern, with one of the world's largest underground chambers and countless formations, is also highly accessible. It is the largest of the caves on the site extending fourteen acres, with a ceiling up to 250 feet high in some places. The caves in this National Park were created over millions of years by a unique formative process in which sulfuric acid dissolved limestone along preexisting cracks or joints.
Recreation - Recreation opportunities in the park include hiking and walking, cave touring and exhibit and scenery viewing. At the Information center you'll find exhibits on bats, geology, history and Lechuguilla Cave. Picnicking facilities are available on a limited basis. Bird watchers can enjoy excellent opportunities at Rattlesnake Springs. A nature trail and other hiking trails are available and enjoyable during the cooler months of the year.
Climate - Inside the cave the climate is cool and varies little from the annual 56F (13C) average. A light jacket or sweater, and comfortable shoes with rubber soles for good traction are appropriate year-round. Outside the cave is a sweltering desert. It lies in southern New Mexico near the Mexican border. Summers are hot with temperatures often reaching 100 degrees or more. Winters are mild in the area with little precipitation.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in the Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. It is southwest of Carlsbad, New Mexico, and can be accessed from Highway 62/180. The National Park extends eastward from southern Lincoln National Forest.