Carlsbad Caverns Wilderness


The Carlsbad Caverns Wilderness now contains a total of 33,125 acres and is managed by the National Park Service. All of the Wilderness is in the state of New Mexico. In 1978 the Carlsbad Caverns Wilderness became part of the now over 109 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. In an age of "...increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization,..." you play an important role in helping to " for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by Congress in the Wilderness Act of 1964. Please follow the regulations in place for this area, and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting to ensure protection of its unique natural and experiential qualities.How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply.Leave No Trace principles:Plan Ahead and PrepareTravel and Camp on Durable SurfacesDispose of Waste ProperlyLeave What You FindMinimize Campfire ImpactsRespect WildlifeBe Considerate of Other VisitorsRegulations:Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport are generally prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles (including OHVs), motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters, unless provided for in specific legislation. In a few areas some exceptions allowing the use of motorized equipment or mechanical transport are described in the special regulations in effect for a specific area. Contact the agency for more information about regulations.Contact Information:CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK3225 National Parks HighwayCarlsbad, NM 88220Phone: 575-785-2232Fax: 575-785-2302Email:


Carlsbad Caverns National Park is in southeastern New Mexico, about 150 miles east of El Paso, Texas. Wilderness makes up much of the park (71 percent), excluding the eastern end, the mouth of Slaughter Canyon, and the area northwest of the Guadalupe Ridge Trail. The visitor center is reached via the 7-mile entrance road west of Whites City off U.S. Hwy. 62/180. Near the park visitor center, the Desert Scenic Loop Drive (9 miles of graded gravel) provides access to wilderness trails in Rattlesnake Canyon and Juniper Ridge, as well as to the Guadalupe Ridge Trail. The Slaughter Canyon and Yucca Mesa trails are accessed via roads south of the park. The remote and faint Ussery Trail in the southwest corner of the park is best accessed from the west through the Lincoln National Forest.




, NM




NPS - National Park Service

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