Walnut Canyon Desert Drive, Carlsbad Caverns National Park

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#8 of 14 in Things to do in Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Scenic Drive Tourist Spot
Walnut Canyon Desert Drive is located in Carlsbad Caverns National Park. To visit Walnut Canyon Desert Drive and other attractions in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, use our Carlsbad Caverns National Park tour planner.
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14 days in New Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, teens, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in New Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in New Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Carlsbad Caverns National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in New Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Carlsbad Caverns National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, kids, popular PREFERENCES: September, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 12 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Carlsbad Caverns National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM NORWAY September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 21 days in United States BY A USER FROM NORWAY September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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Where to stay in Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The only option for sleeping within Carlsbad Caverns National Park is to grab a free permit and pitch your own tent in the backcountry. You can, however, find a handful of places to stay in White's City, which sits at the park's entrance. Here you'll find campgrounds, a few economy hotels, a couple of dining establishments, and other entertainment options. About 40 km (25 mi) up the road, the small city of Carlsbad offers more choice for accommodations. Hotels here tend to show their age, but most are clean.
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  • We were unaware of the drive to the caverns. We did find it very enjoyable. We came in from Texas so we were taken back by how beautiful the drive actually was. I was the only one who enjoyed the cave...  more »
  • It's a one-way gravel round that loops from the top of the entrance drive, near the visitor center, back towards the entrance. It's a 9.5 mile drive that can be very enjoyable, if you slow down, roll ...  more »
  • Ask for a brochure for the drive at the Caverns information desk before heading out. Without the guide, the drive is still scenic, but there are numbered points of interest along the drive that are de...  more »