Usually very crowded, but full of southwestern style items, right down to the chili pepper ornamental lights. NO 800 iso film to be found which I found rather odd, since most people need higher speed film in the dark caverns (must be a sign for me to break down and get that digital)
What to buy: Want proof for your friends that you've actually been somewhere? Buy something cheap with the Carlsbad logo on it and be on your way! Most items (aside from the candies and clothing items) are dust collectors, but fun to look at the southwestern flavor of souvenirs.
We stopped at this little trading post to pick up turquoise for my co-workers. The prices weren't too bad.
It is located on the main highway between Carlsbad Cavrerns and Guadalupe NP.