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.


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.

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

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.


Thank you for your interest in the Eco-Adventure opportunities of southeastern New Mexico! Click here to visit the wiki-site for interactive info and an in-depth look at the opportunities located within an hour’s drive of Carlsbad. Explore our wiki to learn more about the experiences of those who paved the way, or enjoyed the footsteps of others. Our Eco Adventure wiki is an interactive site with pictures, stories, comments, descriptions, and so much more. Let our site be the first step in planning your adventure, then return to share your story and pictures with others. 

Carlsbad, New Mexico is an oasis of adventure located in the heart of southeastern New Mexico. Like no place else, Carlsbad sits at the intersection of the Guadalupe Mountains and the Chihuahuan Desert with 1,627,826 acres of public land to explore! From the hiking trails in the high Guadalupe Mountains, to the underground passageways beneath the desert floor, your eco-adventures are limitless. Enjoy a vast open area of unspoiled terrain where stars outshine city lights and your imagination determines how far you want to go.

We hope that Carlsbad can be your home-base for eco-adventures. Make Carlsbad a return destination for water sports, hiking, biking, ATV trails, and so much more. You know about our caves, but there is more to explore!

Hunting & Fishing

Bureau of Land Management
New Mexico

Lincoln National Forest
NM Game & Fish

Pecos River

Though in the chihuahuan Desert, fishing opportunities are plentiful in the Carlsbad area. You can fish in the Pecos River near the flume, upper Tansil, Lower Tansil, or anywhere along the banks. Boat access is available at the Carlsbad Beach Recreation area. Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Channel Catfish, White Bass, Bluegill, Crappie and Trout are the most popular species caught in the area.

Brantley Lake State Park
12 miles North of Carlsbad
US Highway 285
Phone: 457-2384
Brantley Lake State Park

Brantley Lake is the southernmost lake in New Mexico offering water sports and year-round camping to visitors. Anglers can catch a variety of warm water fish such as Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Channel Catfish, White Bass, Bluegill, Crappie and Trout.

Bureau of Land Management
Carlsbad Field Office
620 E. Greene St.
Carlsbad, NM 88220
Phone: 234-5972
Bureau of Land Management

Outdoor recreational opportunities are plentiful in Carlsbad………..camping, hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing to name just a few!

Lincoln National Forest
Guadalupe Ranger District
Federal Building Room # 159
Halagueno St.
Carlsbad, NM 88220
Phone: 885-4181

Encompasses 285,000-acres for hunting, fishing, camping, and experiencing the beauty of nature.

New Mexico Game and Fish

River Recreation

Boating & Skiing
Carlsbad Beach
River Tours
Riverwalk Recreation Center

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park

1504 Miehls Dr.
Carlsbad, NM 88220
Phone: 887-5516

Get to know the beautiful Chihuahuan Desert first hand at the amazing Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park. Learn about the plants and animals that inhabit the Southwest. Walk along the 1.3 mile pave pathway and see native animals such as Mexican wolves, elk, mule deer, and mountain lion. Summer hours 8am-8pm, last park entry 6:30pm, winter hours, 9am-5pm, last park entry 3:30pm.

Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park