This site is matained by the Friends of the Living Desert, a non-profit organization

that provides support for the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park.  


Phone: 575-887-5516.

Pictures may be used for educational purposes.  

Copyright © Friends of the Living Desert. All rights reserved.


Many visitors are surprised to see a shark atop an educational kiosk when then they enter the Visitors Center.  The kiosk explains the formation of the Permian Basin and why this area has so much gas and oil.

        Welcome from the
Friends of the Living Desert

A third kiosk is devoted to the history and culture of the Mescalero Apaches, who roamed this area hundreds of years ago.

Tracks Table

Visitors can make footprints of Chihuahuan Desert animals at our tracks table.

The Living Desert Visitors Center in Carlsbad New Mexico

                                         Skull Collection

A collection of animal skulls are on display so visitors can determine which animals are predators or prey by viewing their eye placement and type of teeth.

A second kiosk discusses the special adaptations of the Chihuahuan Desert's plants and animals 

                                               Corn Grinding

Guest can experience grinding corn using an ancient mortar (metate) and pestle (mano).

                                                             Gift Shop

The Carlsbad Horticulture Society Gift Shop carries a great selection of southwestern books, jewelry, rocks, southwestern snacks, pottery, plants, t-shirts, and souvenirs.  You can also check out handmade items from local craftsmen.  Proceeds from the Gift Shop benefit the Zoo.

                    Mineral Collection

A collection of minerals and fossils from all over the world are displayed in the Visitors Center.

                                                             Maggie's Corner

Paintings and book markers  by our famous painting black bear, Maggie, are sold at the front desk.  Maggie t-shirts are also available. 

Touch Table

A touch table provides an opportunity to handle rocks, bird feathers, elk antlers, plant items, insect remains, etc