If you are planning a road trip, you might want to add a couple stops to the itinerary if your family is interested in seeing a glorious, natural phenomenon! Witnessing a colony of bats exit their natural habitat by the thousands, or even millions, is definitely something you will want to cross off your bucket list.
The sight and experience is ineffable, jaw-dropping, and absolutely incredible. There are very rare instances in nature where humans get an opportunity to see a colony of flying mammals leave in such countless quantities, night after night. Watching this event is something the whole family will enjoy and appreciate for years to come.
So which stops should you add to see some flying bats? Well, why don’t you start with New Mexico and Texas!
Carlsbad Cavern National Park, New Mexico
Carlsbad Cavern National Park is located in Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico. Beneath the surface of this ancient desert lies over 119 caves and caverns, making it the perfect home for all sorts of bat species. The common species found within the Carlsbad Caverns are Brazilian free-tailed bats, Cave Myotis, and Fringed Myotis.
Brazilian free-tailed bats are the colonies you can witness exiting their natural entrances on a nightly basis. The event is called the Bat Flight Program, and it begins every night at 6 pm. But bats are not the only sight to see. While visiting Carlsbad Cavern, be sure to take in all the surroundings, including its ancient sea ledges, deep rocky canyons, flowering cactus, and desert wildlife!
727 Carlsbad Caverns Highway
Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220
Bracken Cave, Texas
Bracken Cave is located in southern Comal County, less than 20 miles from downtown San Antonio, Texas. This cave is particularly special because it has the largest colony of bats in the world. More than 15 million Mexican Free-Tailed bats take roost in these cavernous systems, and they emerge every single night to hunt for their favorite flying insects.
Bracken Cave is owned and protected by Bat Conservation International, who continues making great efforts to protect and preserve the cave, as well as, over 600 others in the Texas Hill Country areas. July and August are the best times to visit Bracken Cave for the bat show. Check out their BOOK A MEMBER NIGHT page to learn more about planning your trip.