Posted in New Mexico
May 11, 2022
For a fun weekend in a picturesque town, check out Capitan, New Mexico. With little cafes, restaurants, museums, and gift shops nestled in a beautiful mountain range, whether you want to spend the day in the RV, camping, shopping, or in a museum, you can have it in Capitan!
The village of Capitan is located in a gap towards the southwest of the Capitan Mountains.
North of Lincoln National Forest, the Mountain Range is about 20 miles long from east to west and about six miles wide. The tallest peak is more than 10,000 feet.
The village is small and quaint, but bursting with personality at a population of 1,480. It is located on US Route 380 in the “Texas corner” of the state.
The village was founded in the 1890s and incorporated in 1941. The town is the home to the Billy the Kid Trail, where the outlaw ran from the law and was discovered, leading to a shootout between old West bandits and sheriffs!
Capitan Gap has dispersed camping and some great rock climbing.
The town has also had a fascinating connection to wildland firefighting history. It is literally the birthplace of Smokey the Bear!
In the village of Capitan is the Smokey the Bear Historical Park. With two museums and a gift shop, this park is dedicated to educating the public to prevent forest fires.
In the summer of 1950, a man-made fire started in Capitan Gap and was flamed by 70-mile-an-hour winds.
After being trapped by a rockslide, more than 19 firefighters were rescued from the fire.
Also rescued from the same fire was a bear cub named Smokey, after the mascot the Forest Service and Advertising Council had been using for a few years to promote fire safety. You can learn more at this awesome museum that’s fun for the whole family!
If dispersed camping is a little too much for you, down the road from the museum is a Smokey the Bear Campground & RV Park, as well as a Smokey Bear Motel.
There’s also a Smokey Country Market and Smokey Restaurant.
Additionally, Capitan Village has a great local restaurant called Oso Grill.
With a small menu that packs a punch, folks rave about the catfish!
Full of cute houses and little shops with rustic charm, you’ll have a relaxing vacation in a seriously underrated town.
Address: 118 Smokey Bear Blvd, Capitan, NM 88316, USA