In honor of Martin Luther King Day, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, White Sands National Monument, and all New Mexico and Texas National Parks will be free admission on Monday, January 15.

Carlsbad Caverns is known for its spectacular formations and one of the largest cave chambers. There also are a variety of birds, mammals, and reptiles that make their home on the surface in the Chihuahuan Desert. And from late spring into fall about 400,000 Brazilian free-tailed bats emerge from Carlsbad Cavern every evening. Visitors can explore high ancient sea ledges, deep rocky canyons, flowering cactus, desert wildlife and more than 119 caves at Carlsbad Caverns.

In White Sands, visitors can go sledding in the glistening white sands of New Mexico, which take up 275 square miles of desert, creating the world’s largest gypsum dune field.

“National parks connect all of us with our country’s amazing nature, culture and history,” said National Park Service Deputy Director Michael T. Reynolds. “The days that we designate as fee free for national parks mark opportunities for the public to participate in service projects, enjoy ranger-led programs, or just spend time with family and friends exploring these diverse and special places. We hope that these fee-free days offer visitors an extra incentive to enjoy their national parks in 2018.”
Usually, Carlsbad Caverns National Park has an entrance fee of $10 per person, ages 16 and older. The entrance fee waiver does not cover tour fees. Last year, Carlsbad Caverns National Park had 466,772 visitors. Those visitors spent $30,064,000 in local communities which helped to support 444 jobs, according to an event announcement sent to El Paso 411.

Admission is free to everyone on January 15. The closest national parks to El Paso, and the most popular, are Carlsbad Caverns, located at 727 Carlsbad Caverns Highway, Carlsbad, NM 88220 (about 2 hours from El Paso) and White Sands National Monument, located in White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, (about an hour and a half from El Paso.)