Fodor's Expert Review Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park

Outside Carlsbad Caverns National Park Fodor's Choice

More preserve than traditional zoo, this park contains an impressive collection of plants and animals native to the Chihuahuan Desert. The Desert Arboretum has hundreds of exotic cacti and succulents, and the Living Desert Zoo is home to mountain lions, javelinas, deer, elk, bobcats, bison, and a black bear. Nocturnal exhibits let you view the area's nighttime wildlife, a walk-through aviary houses birds of prey, and there's a reptile exhibit. The park also sponsors some great educational events. Though there are shaded rest areas, restrooms, and water fountains, in summer it's more comfortable to visit in the morning before the desert oven heats up. The expansive view from here is the best in town.

Fodor's Choice Family Garden

Quick Facts

1504 Miehls Dr. N
Carlsbad, New Mexico  88220, USA


Sight Details:
Rate Includes: $5, Memorial Day weekend–Labor Day, daily 8–5; Labor Day weekend–Memorial Day, daily 9--5; last entry into zoo 3:30 year-round

What’s Nearby