Best Time To Visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns

The Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in southeastern New Mexico, in the United States of America. It is located near the base of the Guadalupe mountains in the Chihuahua desert. It’s caves are one of the most popular and most visited in the country. Year-round, the best time to visit the park is during the summer.
The park is open throughout the year, welcoming over 400, 000 visitors every 365 days. January is the slowest month for tourism.

Annual precipitation in the park reaches an average of 37.8cm mainly occurring between months of September and March, with a monsoon season kicking in from July till September when the massive thunderstorms take place. Its climate is described as semiarid, with mild winters and warm to hot summers. Highest temperature for the year is about 79°F while the lowest is about 47°F. Mean annual temperature of 17°C.

Cave Climate

The climate in caves are usually more stable when compared with the outside. Temperatures here reflect the annual average temperature for the area at the cave’s elevation, although larger cave systems may trap some heat from the Earth’s core, making them warmer than they should be otherwise. Due to the peculiarities of the Carlsbad caverns, even at long distances from the entrance, the climate remains stable and cool. The main parts of the cave are sometimes referred to as cold traps, with temperatures stable at 56°F. This temperature is maintained because of the influx of cold air, which occurs via a special process.


In March, April and May, winds occur on a much greater scale than any other time of the year. Temperature highs reach about 77°F, rarely falling below 56°F or exceeding 87°F. Temperature lows fluctuate between 39°F and 46°F, hardly going below 29°F or exceeding 56°F. This season is described as mild, dry and pleasant. 11% of the rainfall for the year occurs during spring, making it its driest season.


Summertime begins June till August, and in the park is usually sweltering hot – the hottest all year round, with temperatures going above 100°F sometimes. Afternoon rains occur in downpours across the desert, more frequently in the afternoons. Despite the heat, it is considerably cooler within the caverns, with temperatures at about 13°C, so don’t be put off completely if you still want a summer visit, as it is still the best time to visit, and there are more ranger programs available during this period Jackets and sweaters are welcome too. Intense thunderstorms and heavy rainfall occur frequently, with the rains coming more often in August and September. On average summer is predominantly foggy.


As soon as the weather begins to get chillier, the bats of the park begin their migration to Mexico in late October, to return later in May. September just might be another preferred time to check out the park, as the bat flights are still visible, but with fewer visitors compared to spring. One of the wettest months in Carlsbad is September, having up to 2.2 inches of rains. This season carries about 40% of the total precipitation in Carlsbad.


During the winter months of December, January and February, temperatures usually reach the higher 10° and 20°C during the day and drops and nighttime to -20° and -30°C. Between December and March, the nights are frosty, and snow is rare and falls especially on the mountain peaks. Weather this season is described as wet and cold. For warm weather travelers, the weather might be too cold to visit. tourism is much slower too, so it is very possible to catch great deals on hotel prices.

Best Time To Visit During The Week

The best time to visit the park is mostly on weekends. Crowds are usually the thickest during this period. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, then you can consider visiting on the weekdays between Labor Day and Memorial Day.

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