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Rattlesnake Springs – Carlsbad Caverns National Park
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Overview
Location

Southwest of Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Sights

Rattlesnake Springs, birds

Distance

<1 mile from the entrance gate

Parking Lot Elevation

3643 ft

Summit Elevation

N/A

Elevation Gain/Loss

N/A

Time Required

1+ hour

Pets

Allowed

Fees

None

Water Info

Rattlesnake Springs, bring a bottle of water

Best Season

All

Hours

Open year round only in the day time

Sun Exposure

Lots of shade

Trail Condition

Very good dirt paths

Restrooms

Yes, at the picnic area

Visitor Center

None

Camping

Not allowed - day use only

Food

Bring meals and snacks as needed

Equipment

Bring a hat, sunglasses, bag for food and water, picnic equipment

GPS Coordinates:

Picnic Area: 32.111453°, -104.465751°
Rattlesnake Springs: 32.109652°, -104.471820°

Trail Map


Driving Directions


The Trail:

During a visit to Carlsbad Caverns, we asked one of the rangers what other places he would suggest we see in the area. His immediate response was Rattlesnake Springs.

Rattlesnake Springs was an important part of American Indians and later ranchers in the area.  It was purchased and now used by Carlsbad Caverns National Park for the water.

The entrance was easy to find.  It is gated but it is open.  Drive a little ways down until you come to the large grassy picnic area.

Rattlesnake Springs entrance

Rattlesnake Springs entrance

The picnic area had lots of trees providing the shade.  There must have been a dozen picnic benches with grills.  This is a great place to escape the hot desert and come relax under the shade.

Picnic Area

Picnic Area

Picnic Area - lots of picnic tables with grills

Picnic Area – lots of picnic tables with grills

Picnic Area

Picnic Area

Picnic Area restrooms

Picnic Area restrooms

Keep driving down the dirt path until you come to the springs.  There are several structures and even a private residence so please don’t trespass on their property.

The springs are enclosed in a concrete boundary keeping the spring source about 2 feet deep.

We saw lots of birds and ducks in the area.  My mother about screamed when she saw a blood-red colored bird flying in the near trees.  Come to find out it was a cardinal!  It was really cool to see.

Here is the information post

Here is the information post

The water felt really nice since it was about 85 degrees outside

The water felt really nice since it was about 85 degrees outside

Rattlesnake Springs

We saw some fish though I do not know what kind they were

We saw some fish, though I do not know what kind they were

Rattlesnake Springs

On the way out by the entrance gate we found a field of wildflowers and took some cool photos of them.

Rattlesnake Springs

Rattlesnake Springs

The Return:

Head back to your vehicle

Personal Thoughts:

If you are visiting Carlsbad Caverns then I would suggest you come out to Rattlesnake Springs.  It is an oasis that provides water to not only people in the area but thousands of people who visit the national park.

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Ratings (out of 10)
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Difficulty
1.0
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Technicality
0.5
Enjoyment
6.0
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

6.2
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About The Author
Jeff Johnson
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! JeffTJohnson@ymail.com

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