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Walnut Canyon Desert Drive

3225 National Parks Highway, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
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Review Highlights
Unspectacular Drive Unless You Plan to Hike or Just Want a Break from the Cavern Crowds

The Walnut Canyon Road is a 9.5 mile graded gravel road that begins near the Carlsbad Caverns main... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Gabe10101
,
Lexington, Kentucky
Very enjoyable drive.

We were unaware of the drive to the caverns. We did find it very enjoyable. We came in from Texas... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Rene D
,
Austin, Texas
Read all 30 reviews
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Overview
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This is a 9 mile gravel road that makes a loop through Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It is shown on the map at the NPS website, and mentioned in guidebooks such as National Geographic's Guide to the National Parks.
  • Excellent30%
  • Very good48%
  • Average6%
  • Poor13%
  • Terrible3%
Travellers talk about
“mule deer” (5 reviews)
“gravel road” (5 reviews)
“scenic drive” (6 reviews)
LOCATION
3225 National Parks Highway, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
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Reviews (30)
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1 - 10 of 28 reviews

Reviewed 4 days ago

The Walnut Canyon Road is a 9.5 mile graded gravel road that begins near the Carlsbad Caverns main visitor center, follows a ridge, then drops into a valley (hard to call it a canyon) before emptying onto the main paved road a few miles closer...More

Thank Gabe10101
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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 caverns. Possibly my 4 passengers...More

Thank Rene D
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

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 down your windows and take it in. We...More

Thank LSUTraveller
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

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 detailed in the brochure. There is a small stand at...More

2  Thank nanb820
Reviewed 22 March 2017

we decided to see the canyon. The road to it was very sonic and enjoyable. The canyon is a must see if you are near Flagstaff

Thank Gary M
Reviewed 24 February 2017

Nice drive through the area, about 9 miles on a one way gravel road. Get a map at the visitors center which describes the marked turn outs.

Thank nikonman50
Reviewed 19 January 2017

If you have some time to kill after you've done the caverns and are waiting around for the bat exhibit or have some time before you watch a drive in movie or the bat flight thing go ahead and do this drive. There are a...More

Thank dan665
Reviewed 27 November 2016

Nice views of the Guadeloupe Mountains and the canyons. Easy drive so that the driver can enjoy it as well. Dirt roads on a one way loop. We didn’t see any other cars.

Thank StuartJanine
Reviewed 8 August 2016 via mobile

Stop by the visitor's center at the caves and ask for the map (save yourself the $0.50 at the head of the drive). The map has very well thought out descriptions and explanations of life in the desert. We enjoyed seeing all sorts of wildlife...More

Thank Caleb S
Reviewed 7 May 2016

The road is not paved, but it is in good condition. It traverses the desert and provides views of Rattlesnake Canyon and Walnut Canyon. We saw a few mule deer, but no other animals. It is a way to spend your time while waiting on...More

1  Thank Evelyn C
Nearby
Nearby Restaurants
Dragon China
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1.42 km away
Chili's Grill & Bar
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1.26 km away
La Patrona
7 reviews
.13 km away
IHOP
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.74 km away
Nearby Attractions
Carlsbad Museum and Art Center
164 reviews
3.90 km away
Carlsbad Caverns National Park Visitor Center
706 reviews
.52 km away
Bat Flight Program in Carlsbad Cavern National Park
431 reviews
.03 km away
Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area
45 reviews
4.87 km away
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