Smokey Bear Historical Park sign

Pay Your Respects at Smokey Bear Historical Park

In New Mexico, United States by Erik @ DIY Travel HQLeave a Comment

Visit Smokey Bear Historical Park, New Mexico to see the final resting place of the original Smokey Bear, and learn what you can do to prevent forest fires!

Smokey Bear Historical Park

Smokey Bear returned home to Capitan, New Mexico after his death. The Smokey Bear Historical Park opened in 1979 in his memory, and to help educate the youth. It is now possible to visit his final resting place.

Smokey Bear Historical Park Hours

Smokey Bear Historical Park is open daily from 9 am until 4:30 pm with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Tourist in front of Smokey Bear Historical Park
This could be you!

Smokey Bear Historical Park Entrance Fees

Entrance fees are $2 per adult and $1 for kids between the ages of 7-12.

Smokey Bear Museum

Inside Smokey Bear Museum guests can learn about wildfires, wildfire prevention, and forest health.

Controlled burns are not only healthy for forests, but help to reduce tinder that allow out-of-control wildfires from spreading and impacting so many people. You can watch a short film on how fires affect us today.

Smokey Bear Museum sign
This way to the museum…

Smokey Bear Park

Outside, in Smokey Bear park, guests may visit Smokey Bear’s final resting place. A plaque commemorates his achievements as a living symbol in the prevention of wildfires.

Smokey Bear Park grave site
The final resting place of the original Smokey Bear

Smokey Bear History

Although Smokey existed since 1944 as part of the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention program’s media presence, Smokey Bear became a living symbol in 1950.

It was during the 17,000 acre forest fire in the Capitan Mountains that a badly burned black bear cub was found and named Smokey Bear. He was discovered by a fire crew from Texas, and then cared for by New Mexico Game Warden Ray Bell.

Smokey Bear was later sent to live in the Washington D.C. National Zoo, where he stayed until his natural death at the age of 26.

Smokey Bear Historical Park sign
Welcome to Smokey Bear Historical Park

Plan Your New Mexico Road Trip

In order to get around New Mexico, you need to have a car.

We were surprised to find that Sheena was able to rent a car much cheaper as an Australian than I was as an American. If you’re an international visitor, keep that in mind during your online research. You could save big $$$…

There are plenty of excellent outdoor and cultural attractions in New Mexico – pick up a guide book and start planning! You can pick and choose, make a weekend out of it, or spend 9 days like we did taking in all the best that New Mexico has to offer.

After stopping at Smokey Bear, we visited:

The day before we visited:

Find more inspiration in one of the New Mexico guide books below!

Although the U.S. is a relatively safe country for travel, medical costs are high so if you’re an international visitor we recommend purchasing travel insurance before any trip. We’ve been using World Nomads through 80+ countries over the past 12 years and have been really happy with their coverage and services.

For more details check out our Word Nomads review here.

Know Before You Go

  • Hours: 9 am to 4:30 pm
  • Entrance fees: $2 per adult and $1 per child between the ages of 7-12
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Nearest large City: Alamogordo is 77 miles or 90 mins by car; Roswell is 70 miles or 75 minutes by car
  • Website: Smokey Bear
  • Phone Number: (575) 354-2748
Smokey Bear Museum sign

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means that we receive a small commission if you click on a link and purchase something that we’ve recommended, at no extra cost to you.

Visited in October 2018
Updated August 2019

Leave a Comment

15 − twelve =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.