Carlsbad Caverns celebrates 87 years of park visitors

Carlsbad Caverns

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – One of New Mexico’s gems celebrated a birthday this weekend.

Carlsbad Caverns was established as a National Park 87 years ago on May 14, 1930.

Within the year, visitors were descending hundreds of feet down to see the wonder for themselves.

The caverns, which are made up of 119 caves, were first discovered in the late 1800s, reportedly by 16-year-old cowhand Jim White.

However, the first pictures weren’t taken until 1915, and that is when work began to allow the public inside.

Today, the caverns see nearly 500,000 visitors a year. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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