Carlsbad, New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns

Hotels and motels in Carlsbad, NM

Carlsbad, New Mexico lies along the Pecos River on the northeastern fringe of the Chihuahuan Desert. Originating in the mountains of northern New Mexico, the Pecos travels 900 miles south into Texas where it joins the Rio Grande. Along the way, the river provides life blood to farmers, ranchers, residents and visitors as it meanders through this warm, desert town.

Carlsbad is located in the southeast corner of New Mexico, about 25 miles north of the Texas border. It is serviced by two highways: U.S. 285 traveling north and south, and U.S. 62/180 traveling east and west. Mesa Air offers daily flights to Albuquerque connecting with 9 major airlines to all points. Cavern City Air Terminal. offers overnight tie-downs, hangars(fee) and 100 Octane and jet fuel. Tel. 505-885-5236.

Population / Elevation

  • 24,952
  • 3,100 feet above sea level

Weather / Climate

  • Sunshine: 350 days
  • Visibility: 40-50 miles


In 1884, Charles B. and John Eddy formed a livestock company with Amos Bissell to operate in southeastern New Mexico. One of their first ventures was the Halagueno Ranch, which covered the area from Seven Rivers to La Huerta, NM.

In 1887, Charles B. Eddy built the Halagueno diversion ditch on the Pecos River 3 miles above the later site of Avalon Dam and incorporated the venture as the Pecos Valley Land and Ditch Company. He was seeking funds from a Swiss bank to attract European settlers to the clean air and sunny climate.

In 1888, former sheriff Pat Garrett (who gunned down Billy the Kid) and promoter Charles Greene joined with Eddy to create a system of canals and flumes for diversion of water to their properties. Greene secured potential investors from the east including Robert W. Tansill, manufacturer of the Punch five cent cigar. Eddy and his partners laid out plans for a new town on the south bank of the Pecos River, which was incorporated as the town of Eddy on September 15, 1888.

In 1889, the first school in Eddy opened on South Main with 35 pupils. In 1890, the Witt brothers completed construction of a wooden flume near Eddy for irrigation, and the county seat moved from Seven Rivers to Eddy. In 1890, the bridge over the Pecos River at Greene Street was completed, and Avalon Dam with its many canals were completed. On January 10, 1891, the first railroad train arrived in Eddy on the newly completed line from Pecos, Texas.

In 1899, by a vote of 83-43, the city residents voted to rename their community Carlsbad, after the famous European health resort, Karlsbad, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic). The mineral content and related healing properties of the water in the two cities, continents apart, was virtually identical.

Carlsbad Spring still flows today in the northern corner of the city, near the Pecos Flume, one of the most impressive structures in Carlsbad. The concrete aqueduct is Carlsbad's own "Believe It Or Not" entry -- the river that crosses itself. Originally built of wood, the flume was rebuilt with concrete following the 1902 flood, and at the time of construction, was the largest concrete structure in the world. It is still in use, carrying Pecos River water from Lake Avalon across the river.

Things To Do

  • Boating & Water Activities - Lake Carlsbad, located in the heart of the city, offers boating, fishing, skiing, and paved boat ramps. Take a cruise up the river on the historic George Washington Paddlewheel Boat. Paddle boat rentals are also available.
  • Biking - Paved biking and walking trails run along the banks of the canal in the city.
  • Golfing - Two 18-hole courses are located in Carlsbad (Riverside Country Club and Carlsbad Municipal Golf Course). The municipal golf course also offers a lighted 9-hole par three course.
  • Hiking and Backpacking - Over 2 1/2 miles of paved paths along the banks of the Pecos River provide opportunity for a leisurely or brisk walk. One of the most popular Pecos River attractions is the 4.5-mile-long Riverwalk flanking its banks.
  • Swimming - 5 pools as well as Carlsbad Beach with 1,000 feet of beach area along the Pecos River. Lifeguards are on duty Memorial Day through Labor Day.
  • Tennis & Racquetball - 9 lighted tennis courts & 3 handball-racquetball courts at Lake Carlsbad Tennis Complex.
  • Living Desert Zoo - This native wildlife zoo, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, exhibits more than 40 species of animals and hundreds of species of plants native to the Chihuahuan Desert.

Events Calendar

March: Go Fly a Kite Rally (Brantley State Park)

May: Annual Mescal Roast & Mountains Sprits Dances, Tel. 505-887-6516

July: Eddy County Fair, Tel. 505-887-6595

August: Bat Flight Breakfast. 505-785-2232

September: International Bat Festival, Tel. 505-785-2232 ext. 480

October: San Jose Family Fair, Tel. 505-885-5792

November: Electric Light Parade, Tel. 505-887-0564
December: Balloon Glow; 505-887-0775, Christmas on the Pecos River, 505-887-6516


There are hotels and motels in Carlsbad, NM with something for every taste and price range. For more information and a complete list. Click Here for Hotel Rates, availability, customer reviews and reservation online

Camping & RV Parks

There are 4 campgrounds/RV parks in the Carlsbad area. For a complete list


Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 910,
302 South Canal
Carlsbad, NM 88220
Tel: 800-221-1224, Fax: 505-885-1455

Resources & Nearby Attractions


Cities & Towns

  • Whites City, New Mexico: 16 miles southwest.
  • Roswell, New Mexico: 76 miles north.
  • Hobbs, New Mexico: 70 miles east.
  • El Paso, Texas: 165 west.
  • Van Horn, Texas: 122 miles south.

Parks & Monuments

Wilderness & Recreation Areas

  • Pecos River Beach and Picnic Area: in Carlsbad, NM.
  • Lincoln National Forest: 15 miles west.
  • Sierra Diablo Wildlife Management Area: 85 miles south.
  • Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge: 80 miles north.

Historic & Points of Interest

  • Pecos River Flume
  • Carlsbad Museum and Art Center
  • Carlsbad Public Library
  • The Southwest New Mexico National Environmental Technology & Training Center



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