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This short hike follows a paved path to a scenic overlook of Walnut Canyon.
If you are planning a day to [explore the caverns](https://www.nps.gov/cave/planyourvisit/selfguided_tours.htm) on one of two trails, this is the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs and snag some views before arriving at the visitor center.
Perfect for any member of the family, the overlook offers expansive views of the canyonlands, a harsh desert ecosystem home to wildlife, including rattlesnakes, bighorn sheep, and an abundance of birds. Parking is available along the main road, just minutes before the visitor center.
Larger vehicles and RVs should easily find a spot, though you should continue to the visitor center if you need water or restrooms. Those traveling with dogs may be surprised to know that none of Carlsbad Cavern's trails, including the cave, allow pets.
As such, [this article](https://wagwalking.com/activity/activities-for-dogs-in-carlsbad-caverns-national-park) highlights a local kennel where you can drop your pup off for the day.
There is also a fenced dog park in town, as well as pet-friendly restaurants and overnight accommodations. Sources: https://www.dirtinmyshoes.com/5-things-cant-miss-first-visit-carlsbad-caverns-national-park/2/ https://astheyare.org/2019/04/02/carlsbad-caverns-national-park-walnut-canyon-desert-drive/ https://www.nps.gov/cave/walnut-canyon-overlook.htm https://wagwalking.com/activity/activities-for-dogs-in-carlsbad-caverns-national-park