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Carlsbad Guide

Five Things You Must Do While You Are in Carlsbad

Carlsbad, New Mexico (population 27,000), is near the border with Texas and 140 miles east of El Paso. Located on the Pecos River, Carlsbad offers hiking, golfing, and river recreation. Carlsbad Caverns and the Guadalupe Mountains national parks are nearby.

1. Carlsbad Caverns National Park: The most famous cave complex in the U.S. contains more than 100 limestone caves notable for the profusion, diversity and beauty of their formations. The park encompasses a portion of the Capitan Reef — one of the best-preserved, exposed Permian-age fossil reefs in the world. Carlsbad Caverns is the summer home of a world-famous colony of migratory Mexican free-tailed bats. Nearby Lechuguilla Cave (currently open only to researchers) is the deepest limestone cave in the U.S., containing formations and microbes found nowhere else in the world.

2. Guadalupe Mountains National Park: West Texas' only legally designated wilderness contains the world's finest example of a fossilized reef, and complex and unique flora and fauna. More than 80 miles of trails access woodland canyons, riparian springs, and mountaintops for hikers and horse riders. The park is also a good place to look at fossils, learn about Permian Age geology, watch birds and wildlife, and stargaze under pristine night skies.

3. Sitting Bull Falls Cave: This small cave features flowstone, draperies of calcite crystals, stalactites, stalagmite, travertine dams, and an underground lake and pools. Visitors can also enjoy a spectacular view of the forest while looking out from a grotto from behind a waterfall.

4. Ski Apache: Operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe, this downhill ski resort's base elevation is 9,700 feet. Approximately 180 inches of snowfall are received each season, the second-highest accumulation of any area in New Mexico. The ski area covers 1,060 acres and has 45 trails with a good mix of beginner, intermediate, and expert runs.

5. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park: This indoor/outdoor living museum displays more than 40 native animal species and hundreds of succulent plants from around the world. On a 1.3- mile self-guided tour, visitors will experience the Chihuahuan Desert, from sand dunes to pygmy forest to the desert floor. In a walk-through aviary, visitors see songbirds, hawks, eagles, turkeys, and owls. Park mammals include mountain lion, bobcat, kit fox, badger, mule deer, pronghorn, elk, bison, and endangered Mexican gray wolves.

VroomVroomVroomCarlsbad
Carlsbad,New MexicoUnited States
Top depots in Carlsbad
  • Enterprise Enterprise Carlsbad - 1710 S Canal St, Carlsbad, NM. 88220
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