Carlsbad New Mexico

Carlsbad, New Mexico

Carlsbad, New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Photo by gettyimages.com: RW Haun

This charming little town set in the middle of the desert two-and-a-half hours northeast of El Paso claims one of the Western Hemisphere's most spectacular World Heritage Sites and its own riverside recreational adventures.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

UNESCO named this natural wonder a World Heritage Site in 1995, recognizing the cave system's size. The best way to visit is to descend 750 feet through the Natural Entrance. (There's also an elevator.) Along the trail, you'll spot awe-inspiring formations en route to the Big Room, which equals the size of eight football fields and boasts soaring ceilings like a natural cathedral. Join ranger-led tours to see seldom-visited caves or to try your hand at spelunking. May through October, the park welcomes visitors for dusk bat flights, when thousands of Brazilian free-tailed bats swirl out of the caves for their nightly hunts.
nps.gov/cave

Carlsbad New Mexico

Photo by DJ McCoy

Pecos River

Summer temperatures can spike over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Carlsbad, so the Pecos River Beach Park offers laid-back surrounds to cool off with protected swimming areas and paddleboard, kayak, and pedal boat rentals.
cityofcarlsbadnm.com

Carlsbad Museum & Art Center

This city museum exhibits a small but first-rate collection of Native American ceramics, including Mogollon and Mesa Verde vessels and the McAdoo Collection of the Taos Ten, which features works by Gustave Baumann and Peter Hurd. A photography exhibit explores the role shutterbugs played in making the Carlsbad Caverns famous.
cityofcarlsbadnm.com/museum.cfm

Don't Miss

Christmas on the Pecos Residents along the Pecos River deck their yards with homespun holiday light displays. See them all on a 40-minute pontoon boat ride from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve.
christmasonthepecos.com