Slaughter Canyon Cave (New Cave) near Carlsbad Caverns New Mexico

Carlsbad Travel Blog

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What is "Spelunking"?  The real difference between caving and spelunking is caving is like Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico….they have lights and paths made for you and spelunking has none of that so when you go into caves you have to take your own equipment, lights, repelling gear, head and knee gear, food and water…some people even take diving gear….go in and eventfully make your way out.  It is fun even when you get lost!

Slaughter Canyon Cave (New Cave) near Carlsbad Caverns New Mexico

Took a small group of my Singles Ministry (Young Adults) Spelunking in New Mexico; Carlsbad New Mexico not only has Carlsbad Caverns (Caving) but if you book one month ahead you can go to some of the New Caves (Spelunking). On this trip we did not need any repelling gear and the terrene was not that difficult.

David is from Kenya!
  A park ranger led us in and showed us the main sights found in the new cave, at one point he had us sit down and turn off our lights……nothing but darkness… this day I remember him saying after 3 days of this darkness you will go mad (insane).  Now where did I put those extra batteries!

Reservations are required for Slaughter Canyon Cave. Make reservations by calling


Cost: Tickets are $15.00 for adults and $7.50 for children, Senior and Access Pass holders.

Duration: 2 hours

When: Memorial Day weekend through August 14th —10 a.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Off-season (fall, winter and spring)—10 a.m. weekends only

 Where: DO NOT GO TO THE VISITOR CENTER FOR THIS TOUR! Slaughter Canyon Cave is 23 miles from the Visitor Center.

From Whites City, New Mexico take State highway 62/180 about 5 miles South to County Road 418.  Follow the signs to Slaughter Canyon Cave. The tour meets at the cave entrance –Not the parking lot. There is a strenuous half-mile hike to the cavern entrance, which takes 30 to 45 minutes. The cave trails are narrow, uneven, and very slippery. Everyone must walk single file with their own light source. The cave passages are wide, but there are tall steps to maneuver up and down. Tours depart from the cave entrance at the scheduled time.  Please arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled tour time. The cave is a locked gate so no one can sneak in.

Requirements: Sturdy hiking shoes, drinking water, sunscreen and a strong flashlight with fresh batteries are required—penlights are not sufficient.

Walking sticks are allowed on the hiking trail to the cave entrance, however, NOT allowed inside the cave.  All tour participants must be age 8 or older. Anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Some of the sites to see are the 89-foot high Monarch, one of the world’s tallest columns; the Christmas Tree, a sparkling, crystal-decorated column; and the Chinese Wall, a delicate, ankle-high rimstone dam. Old bat guano mining excavations attest to the human history and impact in the cave.

I highly recommend visiting Slaughter Canyon Cave if you are ever in the Carlsbad, New Mexico area.

realcaver says:
Dear Kingsheart, FYI< you have your terms backwards. spelunking is when you go to a commercial cave, or visit a cave with a hand held flashlight, wearing cotton, without the correct supplies, not knowing about cave ethics, safety etc.
Posted on: May 14, 2013
kingsheart says:
Have not done in tell me if they are any good! :)
Posted on: Jun 15, 2008
kingsheart says:
Will try that next time I go...have not had a digital camra that long. But know i have to set it on a rock and wait! lol
Posted on: Jun 15, 2008
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David is from Kenya!
David is from Kenya!
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