“The final resting place of Smokey Bear”
When the real-life Smokey Bear died in 1976, he was returned home to New Mexico. Since 1979, visitors have been able to pay their respects to the little bear cub who lived at Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan, two-and-a-half hours southeast of Albuquerque. In addition to Smokey’s gravesite, the park includes exhibits about wildfire prevention, forest health, and New Mexico’s natural resources. There’s also a small museum and gift shop, playground, and picnic area.
In the small town of Capitan, there is a motel, restaurant, and grocery store named for the hometown hero. Smokey’s grave is marked by a carved wooden bear cub and plaque; it’s set along a shady path that includes Smokey statues, hand painted signs, and colorful wildflowers. The cub may have had a traumatic childhood, but Smokey’s final resting place is a peaceful respite from the road, a fitting tribute to an accidental icon.
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Smokey Bear Historical Park
- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
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