November 29 – December 31 (except Christmas Eve)
Celebrate the holidays with an enchanting boat ride through dazzling light displays along the Pecos River! Bundle up and enjoy this 40-minute experience as you travel past captivating islands, boat docks, and backyards illuminated by fantastic themes like Santa’s Workshop, Southwest deserts, and more.
Tickets range from $15 to $20 for adults and $10 to $15 for children, and it is highly recommended you purchase your tickets in advance. Plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time and enjoy crafts, drinks, and food at the Pecos River Recreation Area while you wait.
Hidden beneath the rocky slopes and canyons of the Chihuahuan Desert are the incredible Carlsbad Caverns. Formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone, there are more than 119 known caves of all sizes. Explore the caverns at your own pace or opt for a ranger-guided tour.
Overlooking the Pecos River Valley, this native wildlife zoo exhibits more than 40 species of animals and hundreds of plants native to the Chihuahuan Desert. Take a relaxing walk along a nature trail past cacti, yuccas, agave, and other native plant life and observe animals such as snakes, lizards, birds, and even bison and elk.
Brantley Lake State Park is the southernmost lake in New Mexico and is an oasis of water, wildlife, plant life, gorgeous sunsets, and stunning night skies. Just 20 minutes from the city of Carlsbad, make plans to take advantage of the area’s outstanding boating, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, hiking, bird watching, and excellent campsites.
Truly an oasis hidden in the desert, about an hour-and-a-half outside of the city of Carlsbad you’ll find the majestic 150-foot Sitting Bull Falls waterfall. Take one of the trails for a nice hike, run, or bike, and then relax at the recreation area while enjoying the beautiful falls in the background.
Home to the real-life Smokey Bear, Lincoln National Forest covers more than 1 million acres and stretches from the cacti covered Chihuahuan desert to the subalpine forest of the Guadalupe, Sacramento, Sierra Blanca, Capitan, and Gallinas mountain ranges. Recreation areas offer biking, camping, hiking, horse riding, hunting, picnicking, scenic drives, and winter sports.