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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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Type: Scenic Drives
Owner description: 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... more » Owner description: 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. « less
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13 reviews from our community

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    4
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    2
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Portland, Maine
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

This is a very good example of a road through the desert. There were fascinating plants and wonderful geology. Great for the lover of nature in all of its forms. Not for the 'convenience' or the 'just the pretty things' focused visitor.

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Baltimore, Maryland
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

This was a rutted, poorly maintained road that would never end. You truly could not go more than 15 mi. per hour and in places even less. Feared bottoming out my car. There was nothing of interest along it or that you hadn't seen driving through the deserts of N.M. It said it was 9 miles I believe but it... More

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Bloomfield Township, Michigan
Top Contributor
263 reviews 263 reviews
79 attraction reviews
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2014

We drove in a mini van. This is not something I would want to do everyday. But I am glad we did it once. If you looking for Macy's, Dillards, Chili's or Applebees, you might be disappointed (some people think I have a good sense of humor). This is kind of a bumpy ride in a desert, that makes you... More

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Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
11 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

Took this 9.5 mile drive to finish off our visit to Carlsbad Caverns. It was a very pleasant introduction to the Chihuahuan desert with lovely vistas and a number of turnouts. Despite no picnic tables there were a number of places to have a picnic. The road was nearly deserted so was a wonderful way to get away from the... More

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Tucson
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
20 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

We took the 9.5 mile Walnut Canyon Desert Drive, which is very enjoyable on a cool fall October day. An information flier is available at the Visitor Center, and it featured a variety of plant, geology, and historic points of interest. In the glossy Carlsbad Cavern brochure, it says there are picnic tables in Walnut Canyon, but in fact there... More

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Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013 via mobile

We drove the 9.5 mile loop after visiting the Caverns. We thought the scenery was breathtaking. It would probably be boring for families with kids, but for us (a couple of middle-aged folks) it was a very pleasant drive with beautiful scenery. There were only two other cars on the road, but there were places to pull over and allow... More

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Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
16 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

We drove on it in a rental mid-size sedan (Toyota Corolla) and we did well.... there were some scary downhill turns though...the view is so so, but we had fun..

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Fort Collins, Colorado
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
10 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

My mom & I were hoping to take some photos while enjoying the scenic drive. Our spouses and grand/great grand son were enjoying the Natural Entrance tour at the caverns. The Guide brochure box was empty at the start of the one way drive loop. That should have been our first clue. After starting the drive, we noticed previous fire... More

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Providence, Rhode Island
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
22 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

We looked forward to the drive to "fill out" our experience in the caves. But is was a drive around the country side without explanation. No guide brochures were available, which made the drive pointless.

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Sugar Land, TX USA (near Houston)
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
36 attraction reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013 via mobile

This was ~10 mile scenic drive right near visitor center. Gravel road which was easy drive in our rented Impala although if was my personal car I may not want to have 10 miles of gravel beating on it. Beautiful views and worth it for the amazing photo opps. If you come all the way to caverns to visit take... More

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