Family Camping in Carlsbad Caverns National Park

November 23, 2011
Filed under National Parks, Southwest Camping

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Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park: Photo by NPS

Family camping in Carlsbad Caverns National Park offers a little bit of everything desert, from rocky hills and canyons to cacti and shrubs. But lying beneath the desert are 117 known caves waiting to be explored. Carlsbad Caverns National Park was established first as a National Monument in 1923 and was upgraded to a National Park in 1930. With its unique underground caverns, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a great camping spot in New Mexico. There is plenty to do while family camping in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, including exploring caves, going on hikes, bat watching and much more.

Although the weather changes year round, the temperature inside the cave tends to stay right around 55 degrees no matter what month it is. The temperatures above the ground tend to be dry and cold in winter with spotty snow showers. The summers can be quite hot, reaching over 100 degrees. Fall is a great time to visit Carlsbad Caverns as the weather is usually temperate and consistant.  It is important to know that children under the age of three are not allowed on any of the guided cave tours and anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

While family camping in Carlsbad Caverns National Park you’ll find many exciting features within the Big Room from the Bottomless Pit and the Giant Dome to the Rock of the Ages and the Painted Grotto. The Natural Entrance Route is an excellent self guided tour cave better left to those in good shape. It is a strenuous adventure through a very old cave. Guided tours are offered through many caves from the Kings Palace to the Left Hand Tunnel. Guided tours range in difficulty from walking on a dirt path to crawling through tight cave passages, meaning there is something for everyone. Many bats also call the caves home, leading to a bat flight program. There are programs for the dusk leaving of bats, as well as the dawn return. Programs are subject to weather, and are generally scheduled between Memorial weekend through mid October. There are also many hiking trails that allow for the exploration of the desert areas of Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The park is also excellent for night sky viewings, and the park offers many Star Party events. This program offers an excellent view of nocturnal animals, starry skies and extensive cultural history. Regardless of what you enjoy doing, camping in Carlsbad Caverns National Park has a lot to offer.

For more information about family camping in New Mexico and other family camping sites across the country, visit Woodall’s Family Camping directory!

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