We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Walnut Canyon Desert Drive

3225 National Parks Highway, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
Website
Improve this listing
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
Write a Review

14 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    5
    6
    0
    2
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Fredericksburg, Texas
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
42 attraction reviews
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

The Scenic Loop Drive is just that - a very scenic drive. the Drive begins just as the visitor center comes into view. Be sure to pick up a road guide which explains a lot that you will see a and more importantly what you might not notice. The road follows the ridge for 4 miles and then drops into... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
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

Was this review helpful? Yes
Bloomfield Township, Michigan
Top Contributor
308 reviews 308 reviews
84 attraction reviews
220 helpful votes 220 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

Was this review helpful? Yes
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
11 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 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

Was this review helpful? Yes
Tucson
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
20 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 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

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 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

Was this review helpful? Yes
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
16 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 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..

Was this review helpful? Yes
Fort Collins, Colorado
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
17 attraction reviews
65 helpful votes 65 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

Was this review helpful? Yes
Providence, Rhode Island
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
23 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Walnut Canyon Desert Drive also viewed

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
 
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
 

Been to Walnut Canyon Desert Drive? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Do you own or manage Walnut Canyon Desert Drive?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing