Slaughter Canyon Cave

Useful Information

Location: Carlsbad Caverns NP, NM. From White's City Highway 62/180 south for 9 km, turn off on County Road 418. Signposted. Trail to the cave entrance, 45-minutes hike.
Open: JAN to Memorial Day Sat, Sun, 10.
Memorial Day to 15-AUG daily 10, 13.
16-AUG to DEC Sat, Sun 10.
Reservation required.
Closed 25-DEC.
Meet at last 15 min before tour at the cave entrance, reserve 45mins for the hike!
Fee: Adults USD 15, Card Holders USD 7.50, Children (6-15) USD 7.50.
Card Holders means Golden Age/Golden Access Passport holders.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: none, bring own
Dimension: T=13 °C
Guided tours: D=2 h, L=2,000 m.
Bibliography: Carol A Hill (1987): Geology of Carlsbad Cavern and other caves in the Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico and Texas, 150pp, 130 figs [most are photos], SB. The author suggest that the caves are formed by sulphuric rather than carbonic acid. Some nice colour photos.
Address: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, 3225 National Parks Hwy., Carlsbad, NM 88220, Tel: +1-505-785-2232, Fax: +1-505-785-2302. E-mail: contact
Tour reservations, Tel: 1-800-967-2283, international Tel: +1-301-722-1257.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.



Slaughter Canyon Cave is one of more than 100 caves located at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. But it is not part of the same cave system as Carlsbad Caverns. This cave is guided by rangers in cave trekking tours. The tours includes narrow, uneven, and very slippery trails, and there are tall steps to climb up and down. On the other hand the passages are wide. The tour is not really difficult, but rather strenuous, so general physical fitness is necessary.

Visitors must bring sufficient equipment. Sturdy hiking shoes, old clothes, probably clothes to change afterwards. Really important are good lights, two strong torches with fresh batteries per person are much recommended. Headlamps are a good idea too, penlights are not bright enough. Bring drinking water for the hike.

Slaughter Canyon Cave has various highlights. The Monarch stalagmite is 27 m, definitely not the tallest stalagmite on Earth but very impressive though. The Christmas Tree is a sparkling, crystal-decorated column. A delicate, ankle-high rimstone dam, is named the Chinese Wall. There are even some archaeological remains to see on the tour, old bat guano mining remains. The guano was used as fertilizer.