Established to preserve Carlsbad Cavern and numerous other caves within a Permian-age fossil reef, the park contains more than 100 known caves, including Lechuguilla Cave;the nation's deepest limestone cave at 1,567 feet (478m) and fourth longest.
High ancient sea ledges, deep rocky canyons, flowering cactus and desert wildlife - treasures above the ground in the Chihuahuan Desert. Hidden beneath the surface are more than 119 caves - formed when sulfuric acid dissolved limestone leaving behind caverns of all sizes.
Carlsbad Cavern, with one of the world's largest underground chambers and countless formations, is highly accessible, with a variety of tours offered year-round.
The park's cultural resources represent a long and varied continuum of human use starting in prehistoric times, and illustrating many adaptations to the Chihuahuan Desert environment. Human activities, including prehistoric and historic American Indian occupations, European exploration and settlement, industrial exploitation, commercial and cavern accessibility development and tourism have left reminders of their presence, and have contributed to the rich and diverse history of the area.
The park has two historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places - the Cavern Historic District and the Rattlesnake Springs Historic District. The park museum, including the park archives, contains approximately one million cultural resource artifacts that are being preserved and protected.