Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park

New Mexico, New Mexico.

This native wildlife zoo in Carlsbad, NM is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, exhibits more than 40 species of animals and hundreds of species of plants native to the Chihuahuan Desert. The park provides an up-close experience for visitors, with a variety of fun interpretive programs for every season geared for the entire family. Living Desert also has beautiful hiking trails, picnic areas and group facilities. The Mescalero Apache once roamed the hills surrounding the park and occasionally performs agave roasting at the park. Living Desert Zoo became a state park in 1971.

The zoo features native animal species such as pronghorn, badger, bison, bobcats, mule deer, elk, kit fox, Gila monster, cougar, prairie dogs, reptiles, fourteen species of snakes, and Mexican wolves. An aviary contains golden eagles, hawks, owls, a roadrunner, songbirds, and turkeys. The gardens feature a greenhouse and hundreds of cacti and succulents from around the world, including acacia, agave, small barrel cactus, cholla, ocotillo, prickly pear, saguaro, sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri), and yucca.

1.3 miles of self-guided trails lead through sand dunes, arroyos, and pinion pine and juniper forest.

Park Elevation is 3,482 ft.
Make a reservation on the New Mexico State Parks reservation website


1504 Miehls Drive N
Carlsbad, NM 88220
Make a reservation on the New Mexico State Parks reservation website

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