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“Desert Road” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Walnut Canyon Desert Drive

Walnut Canyon Desert Drive
3225 National Parks Highway, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
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Type: Scenic Drives, Sights & Landmarks, Outdoor Activities
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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.
Portland, Maine
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Desert Road”
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.

Visited May 2013
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16 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“An hour of hell!”
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 took us at least 45 min. to drive through it and we were laughing so hard about how ridiculous it was that that was the only thing that made us be able to tolerate the hour or so it took.

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomfield Township, Michigan
Top Contributor
399 reviews 399 reviews
93 attraction reviews
Reviews in 110 cities Reviews in 110 cities
517 helpful votes 517 helpful votes
“Scenic Drive in the Desert”
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 forget about the luxury, but makes you see & appreciate the little things, that you don't get to see on the everyday basis.

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Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Good desert drive”
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 crowds. If you have a "regular" car, it is fine to drive this road very slowly as long as there has not been any recent rain which can cause washouts lower down in the canyon.

Visited March 2014
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Tucson
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Walnut Canyon Desert Drive”
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 are not. Perhaps they burned up in the 2011 fire. We ate our picnic lunch in the car, which was a little inconvenient, but no big deal.

Visited October 2013
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