Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
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The two RV Gypsies explored
Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Carlsbad, New Mexico
May 12, 2015

IMPORTANTNot to be confused with Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert, California

green divider bar

USA map showing location of New Mexicomap of NM

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park, formerly the Living Desert Zoological and Botanical State Park, is a zoo and botanical garden displaying plants and animals of the Chihuahuan Desert in their native habitats. It is located off U.S. Route 285 at the north edge of Carlsbad, New Mexico, at an elevation of 3,200 feet atop the Ocotillo Hills overlooking the city and the Pecos River. It is open every day except Christmas.

The park has been an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) since 2002

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens entry
Artwork outside of the Gift Shop
Artwork outside of the Gift Shop

Artwork outside of the Gift Shop
and Visitor Center entrance.

The fancy door at entrance
to the Visitor Center.

Artwork outside of the Gift Shop
fancy door

Inside the Visitor Center there were signs showing the different areas of the park.

Welcome sign and map
display of the different areas of the park

The zoo featured more than forty native animal species, including pronghorn, badger, bison, bobcats, mule deer, elk, kit fox, Gila monster, cougar, prairie dogs, reptiles, and Mexican gray wolves. An aviary contained golden eagles, hawks, owls, a roadrunner, songbirds, and turkeys. The gardens featured a greenhouse and hundreds of cacti and succulents from around the world, including acacia, agave, small barrel cactus, cholla, ocotillo, prickly pear, saguaro, and yucca. Some of which the two RV Gypsies photographed and included on this page and the following two pages.

quote of John Muir
Desert Sand Hills sign

Desert Sand Hills

This area of mixed vegetation and sand dunes naturally exists east of the Pecos River into Texas. These plants typically have deep, extensive root systems which help the plants cope with the region's drying winds and limited rainfall.

area plants in the Desert Sand Hills

western soapberry sign
sign about small wildlife
shinnery oak sign
shinnery oak sign
very small cacti

Gypsum Hills

plants in the Soaptree Yucca area

Gypsum sinkhole sign
Gypsum sinkhole
soaptree yucca sign
Ocotillo signOcotillo  plant

Desert Uplands

Desert Uplands sign
tarhush hotase sign


Arroyo sign
arroyo area

Pinon Juniper

Pinon Juniper sign
look below

go tot he next adventure of the two RV GypsiesPlease continue on to page 2 at Living Desert State Park. Photos have been put on separate pages to allow for faster loading in case of possible slow internet speeds.