Parks Ranch Cave

A gypsum cave with over four miles of mapped passage and twenty different entrances, it is the longest gypsum cave on public land in the United States. Groups of all experience levels can find something to enjoy in Parks Ranch Cave. No permit is required for this cave.

Always cave with at least three people, three sources of light, and let someone know where you are going and when you are expected to return. Animals frequently use the cave entrances, so use caution when you approach. Watch and listen for animals such as owls, bats, snakes, and more. Parks Ranch Cave takes on water when it rains, so do not enter if rain is forecasted for the area.

Adventure is at Your Fingertips



  • None. 


  • Parks Ranch Cave is open year round

What to Bring

  • Helmet with headlamp to keep your noggin safe and provide hands free lighting.
  • Gloves for hand protection
  • Elbow pads to help in tight climb
  • Kneepads for protection in crawls
  • Sturdy boots to provide good support and traction

What to Take

  • Nothing, leave only footprints and take only pictures!


  • Carry a pack with emergency lights, first aid, food, and water.
  • Cave safely and responsibly. If new to caving, find an experienced mentor.
  • Inform others of where you are going and your expected return time. 
  • Be alert for rattlesnakes and other animals that are also drawn to entrance areas of caves.
  • Be aware of sudden storms. Parks Ranch can be subject to extreme flash flooding. Do not become a drowning victim. 


  • Kiosk with maps of the cave system
  • Primitive camping locations with fire rings.
  • No toilets 



Iconograph of a person wearing a headlamp and a backpack

Geographic Coordinates

32.11069, -104.40678


Parks Ranch Cave is located about 25 miles southwest of Carlsbad, NM. From Carlsbad, take US 62/180 west for about 26 miles until mile marker 9, Dillahunty Road. Use the crossing to turn and travel north on US 62/180 for one mile. At mile marker 10, turn right onto a gravel road. Cross the cattle guard and turn left. Travel one third of a mile, then turn right. Drive approximately nine tenths of a mile and you will see the chain link fences surrounding the main cave entrances.