Carlsbad, New Mexico: A Year-Round Treat

Santa Fe, New Mexico

CARLSBAD, NEW MEXICO A year-round treat above and below ground CARLSBAD CAVERNS An awe-inspiring wonder any time of the year, the internationally known Carlsbad Caverns National Park was recently designated a World Heritage site, one of only 20 in the United States. At 830 feet below ground, the Carlsbad Caverns are a constant 56 degrees, comfortable for touring any time of the year. Explore the subterranean fantasyland of stalagmites, stalactites and helictites. From May through September, witness another wonder of nature at the Caverns - hundreds of thousands of bats spiraling upward from the entrance very evening at sundown. "GO FLY A KITE RALLY" Held annually in March at Brantley Lake State Park, both the young and young-at-heart can learn important kite flying tips before giving it a try. Then watch in awe as a stunt kite team performs their unbelievable tricks. LIVING DESERT STATE PARK It's time to meet some desert dwellers face-to-face. This one-of-a-kind zoo and botanical garden provides a unique glimpse of the Chihuahuan desert. Dozens of animals such as mountain lions, buffalo, bobcats, javelina, reptiles, prairie dogs, bears, wolves, deer and roadrunners inhabit the zoo. Living Desert is a safe haven for many injured and orphaned birds, mammals and reptiles who can no longer survive in the wild. The botanical gardens house cacti and other plants native to the region. MESCAL ROAST & MOUNTAIN SPIRIT DANCES Gain a greater respect for the desert at a Mescal Roast, a traditional Mescalero Apache Indian Ceremony held in the Living Desert State Park each year in May (see separate article). During this 4-day celebration, capture a sense of the respect for life and nature so essential to the Mescaleros' world view through seminars, dinners and dances. GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK Plan memorable hiking and backpacking trips in this park with grand views, diverse landscapes and small pleasures from the Guadalupe Mountains that tower so majestically into the sky. McKittrick Canyon is a favorite among visitors. Maple, walnut, ash, oak and chokecherry trees grow along the spring-fed stream throughout McKittrick Canyon, which transform from the lush greens of spring and summer into a bold display of autumn hues in October and early November. CHRISTMAS ON THE PECOS This is a real crowd pleaser - During Christmas on the Pecos, float along the Pecos River at Carlsbad through a fairyland of twinkling lights. For more information on Carlsbad, contact: CARLSBAD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE P.O. Box 910 Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220 (505) 887-6516

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