Situated within 1,200 acres of authentic Chihuahuan Desert, this park contains more than 50 species of desert mammals, birds, and reptiles, and almost 500 varieties of plants. Even for someone like me, who cringes at the thought of zoos, this is a pleasant 1.3-mile walk. You pass through displays with plaques pointing out vegetation such as mountain mahogany, and geologic formations such as gypsum sinkholes. In addition to a nocturnal exhibit, you're likely to see lizards and other wild creatures, as well as captive ones.
Rehabilitation programs provide for the park's animals, which have been sick or injured and are no longer able to survive in the wild. You'll see golden eagles and great horned owls among the birds of prey in the aviary, and large animals such as deer and elk in outdoor pastures. The view from the park, high atop the Ocotillo Hills on the northwest side of Carlsbad, is superb.
- © Frommer's 2013
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Ask Carlsbad Locals about Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park
- Recommended 2010
- visit website
- tel: 575/887-5516
- 1504 Miehls Dr
- Carlsbad, NM 88221-0100
- Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day 8am-8pm, last park entry by 6:30pm; rest of year 9am-5pm, last park entry by 3:30pm. Gift shop closes 45 min. prior to zoo
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