Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM …

Over the years as a native New Mexican, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit the beautiful and awe-inspiring Carlsbad Caverns on numerous occasions. My mom and dad took us there quite a times and we never got bored of it. The most recent time was with my sister, nephew, and a couple of other family members. When we traveled to Carlsbad Caverns (PRE-Goldie) we stayed in a motel in Roswell. They are significantly less expensive than those in Carlsbad, they are in alien-land (keep your eyes open for UFO’s and Aliens), and Roswell is about 20 minutes from The Bottomless Lakes and an hour and a half from the Caverns.

In the years that R and the teen have lived in New Mexico they have never been to the Caverns. We’ve been trying to plan a trip to go since we started dating but it never panned out. This year we finally made it happen. Some of my other family joined us on this adventure and it was very lovely.

Carlsbad, NM is about 4 hours and 15 minutes from Albuquerque and the Caverns are about 25 minutes from Carlsbad. If you stay in Roswell, it’s an hour between Carlsbad and Roswell. If you stay at Bottomless Lakes State Park, as we did, it’s also about an hour to Carlsbad. When planning for all my extended family and us to meet at Carlsbad Caverns I completely miscalculated the time and ended up being an hour late (sorry extended family, if you’re reading this). If you drive through Roswell to stop and get Starbucks and McDonald’s it takes approximately 2 hours to drive from Bottomless Lakes State Park to Carlsbad Caverns.

Carlsbad 4
Carlsbad caverns 2
Carlsbad 3

Carlsbad Caverns are completely stunning, amazing and unique! You will not be disappointed. A couple of notes to remember:


  • You cannot take any food or drinks, other than plain water, down with you. I failed to read this part and had to take snacks and drinks back to the vehicle.
  • Also, if you do the hike down into the cave (which you really, really, really should do) there isn’t a bathroom for nearly an hour. At the bottom of the very steep hike down there is a snack bar (if I remember correctly when it isn’t Covid there’s also a little café with sandwiches and other food) and a gift shop. There is also a restroom and a rest area.
  • Then you need to explore the great room. If you don’t want to or are unable to hike down, you can take the elevator down to the great room and walk around the great room. That is a spectacular outing on its own as well.  If you make the hike down the cavern plan for about 3 Evanskin hours to see everything (the webpage says it takes approximately 2 regular people hours).
Carlsbad Caverns 1
carlsbad 5

After our cave outing my nephew-in-law (is that a thing?) found a small restaurant called Carniceria San Juan and the food was super delicious and amazing and not too pricey. R, the teen, myself, and the rest of my family who was with us greatly enjoyed it!

If you’re ever in New Mexico Carlsbad Caverns is a MUST STOP!!!  People, literally, travel from all over the world to visit this amazing location.


Save Money… drive a bit farther

In a lot of cases campgrounds and other lodging near major attractions are more rather expensive.  Often times if you have time and are able to if you find a campground or lodging a bit farther away it is far less expensive.  We have discovered this to be true when we went to the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park and Mesa Verde National Park.


Double check times

 When scheduling events with more than one set of people double… maybe even triple… check the amount of time it takes to arrive at places. My miscalculation of time caused the rest of my family to have to wait more than an hour for me, even though R, the teen and I were the first to leave the campground. (Starbuck’s addiction is a real bitch sometimes.)

Did you enjoy this blog? Was it helpful? Do you want more?

Join our email list!

* indicates required
Email Format