What to do in Living Desert State Park

Dedicated to the interpretation of the Chihuahuan Desert, Living Desert State Park is an indoor/outdoor living museum displaying more than 40 native animal species and hundreds of succulents from around the world.

While on the 1.3 mile self-guided tour, which takes approximately 1.5 hours, visitors will discover sand dunes and mountainous areas, where pinyon and juniper trees contrast with the desert floor below.

Inside the walkthrough aviary, visitors will see bird species ranging from small songbirds to large predatory hawks, eagles and owls. Passing visitors also may see a mountain lion and bobcat perched on a rock ledge or peering through the vegetation. Kit fox, badger, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, elk, and bison also make their home at the park.

One of the park's main highlights are endangered Mexican wolves. Living Desert participates in a wolf recovery program, exchanging wolves with other zoological facilities to help insure their survival.

A visit to Living Desert is not complete without a stop at the greenhouse. Here, hundreds of succulents and cacti from around the world show off their spines and beauty. Small barrel cacti,
ocotillo and the majestic saguaro are just a few of the plants on display. Many cacti are also for sale in the Gift Shop.

Recreation at this park is limited to site seeing, touring the zoo, and gardens, and picnicking.

Living Desert Sate Park is located in the south eastern corner of the state, just west of, and very near, Carlsbad.

Annual precipitation is 12.8 inches. Summer temperatures range from lows around 65 to highs around 95. Winter temps range from lows of 29 degrees to highs around 61.

P.O. Box 100
Carlsbad, NM 88221

Phone: 505-885-4476

  • Living Desert State Park Travel Q&A