Smokey Bear Historical Park
SMOKEY BEAR HISTORICAL PARK
Smokey Bear Historical Park is open! Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Entrance fees (cash only) are $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for children aged 7-12. Children 6 and under are free. We can only accept cash at this time, and guests are encouraged to have exact change. Masks are not required after July 1, 2021, but unvaccinated visitors are encouraged to wear one.
Smokey Bear Historical Park was established in 1976 to honor Capitan’s favorite son, Smokey Bear. Nearly three decades earlier, Smokey was an orphaned little bear cub with burned paws, found in the aftermath of the Capitan Gap wildfire. Smokey Bear rose to fame as an icon for forest fire prevention and he lived in Washington, D.C.’s National Zoo for 26 years. When he passed away, the famous black bear was laid to rest in his hometown. His burial site is a special place within the Smokey Bear Historical Park.
The park is a true celebration of Smokey’s legacy. At the visitor’s center, guests can find fascinating exhibits about forest health, wildfires, the science of fire ecology, and a historical look at wildfire prevention. The theater features a short film about how forest health and fire impact our lives today.
Outside, admirers have the opportunity to visit Smokey Bear’s final resting place. Guests will also find exhibits about vegetative life zones found in New Mexico and explore the beauty our state’s natural resources. The outdoor amphitheater is the perfect setting for school groups to enjoy the park’s educational programs. There is also a playground, picnic area and Capitan’s original train depot.
An extra treat for kids is the Junior Ranger and Little Ranger programs. Younger visitors can become official rangers (and earn some neat souvenirs) by completing an engaging activity about fire prevention and Smokey Bear. It is a chance for kids to learn new things and create fun memories.
Smokey Bear Historical Park is located on highway 380 (118 W. Smokey Bear Blvd.), in the heart of Capitan. We’re open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Entrance fees are $2.00 for adults, $1.00 for children aged 7-12 (cash only), and children 6 and under are free.
Smokey Bear Historical Park has been operated by the New Mexico Forestry Division’s Capitan District since 1992.