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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
Beautiful, low traffic, off the beaten path drive

After hiking around the caverns but before watching the bat flight, we decided to get out of the... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
CopperLeah
,
Loveland, Colorado
Come here following your time at the Cavern

This 7+ mile self guided drive through the desert is on the access road to the Carlsbad Caverns... read more

Reviewed 29 January 2018
Peter R
,
Boston, Massachusetts
Read all 38 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.
  • Excellent23%
  • Very good52%
  • Average10%
  • Poor13%
  • Terrible2%
Travellers talk about
“mule deer” (7 reviews)
“gravel road” (6 reviews)
“scenic drive” (6 reviews)
LOCATION
3225 National Parks Highway, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
CONTACT
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JPMiles / Payback Arrow
50
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (38)
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"mule deer"
in 7 reviews
"gravel road"
in 6 reviews
"scenic drive"
in 6 reviews
"information desk"
in 2 reviews
"visitor center"
in 8 reviews
"points of interest"
in 2 reviews
"plants"
in 6 reviews
"cars"
in 3 reviews
"animals"
in 3 reviews
"scenery"
in 3 reviews
"geology"
in 3 reviews
"picnic"
in 2 reviews
"mile"
in 4 reviews
"bridge"
in 2 reviews
"visitors"
in 3 reviews
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1 - 10 of 36 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago

After hiking around the caverns but before watching the bat flight, we decided to get out of the crowds and take a quick drive down the Walnut Canyon road. We were easily able to do this in our Prius in October, but it may not...More

Thank CopperLeah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2018

This 7+ mile self guided drive through the desert is on the access road to the Carlsbad Caverns. It offered some nice views of the desert and local terrains. Pick up the information sheet from the rangers at the National Park information center first so...More

2  Thank Peter R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2017 via mobile

This is a wonderful off road experience. You could probably do it after the caverns. We started probably 1 hr before sunset. It's 9.5 miles that starts near the visitor center and meets down the mountain. You can stop off at rattlesnake canyon. The sunset...More

1  Thank Arch L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 November 2017 via mobile

We enjoyed the drive but it is an activity to do if you are done with the cavern activities which are higher priority. Do ask at the information desk for a guide to the drive. It will make your time more meaningful. It includes plant,...More

Thank Crowhollow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2017

Walnut Canyon Loop Drive is a nice 9.5 mile loop drive that starts near the CCNP visitor center. It is gravel, so you need to go slow. There is some interesting, though not dramatic, landscape and the flora is interesting if you are not from...More

Thank scottcaps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2017

If you are waiting for the bat flight program to begin this is the perfect place to kill some time. The scenery is nice, but the best part may be the seclusion and quiet. Make sure you get the guidebook/pamphlet for the drive.

1  Thank parksvisitor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2017

We drove in late morning so the creatures - except a couple mule deer- were all in for the day. It showed just how desolate the area is and how dependent on water the wildlife is. We did not see a single soul on the...More

Thank tridcod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2017

We had some time to kill, and it was a nice drive with good views, but nothing special if you have had other trips in the desert.

1  Thank Victoria F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2017

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

2  Thank Gabe10101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2017

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

1  Thank Rene D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Nearby Restaurants
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Nearby Attractions
Carlsbad Museum and Art Center
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Carlsbad Caverns Natural Entrance Tour
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Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area
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Bat Flight Program in Carlsbad Cavern National Park
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