May 24, 2022 update: Due to extreme fire danger, the Bureau of Land Management Roswell Field Office issues emergency closure for Ft. Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area and Lincoln tracts. The closure is effective on May 25, 2022, at 8 a.m., and will continue until further notice.
The Fort Stanton - Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area (NCA) was established in 2009 to protect, conserve, and enhance the unique and nationally important historic, cultural, scientific, archaeological, natural, and educational subterranean cave resources of the Fort Stanton - Snowy River Cave system.
The NCA was once known as the Fort Stanton Military Reservation. In 1855, the U.S. Army established Fort Stanton as an Infantry and Cavalry post in the east-central New Mexico Territory to protect settlers in the region.
Within the NCA is Fort Stanton Cave, at over 42 miles, it is the second longest cave in New Mexico, the 10th longest cave in the U.S., the 62th longest in the world, and the largest cave managed by the BLM.
Snowy River is a significant passage within Fort Stanton Cave, and is the longest cave formation in the world.