Smokey Bear stained glass.

Smokey Bear Museum And Grave

Field review by the editors.

Capitan, New Mexico

Died 1976

Pet Cemetery.

"Hotfoot" was a badly burned black bear cub found in 1950 by firefighters after a devastating blaze in New Mexico's Lincoln National Forest. When the cub healed, he was rechristened Smokey Bear, and he came to personify the advertising character created during World War II to dissuade campers from carelessly destroying the war effort's lumber supply.

Pose with Smokey Bear.

Smokey moved to Washington, DC, and took up residence at the National Zoo alongside fellow celebrity Ham, the Astrochimp. Millions paid their respects over the years. Smokey was so popular, he had his own ZIP code.

Smokey died during the Bicentennial year, and was taken home and buried under dark of night on Nov. 9, 1976, on the grounds of the Smoky Bear Museum. A tree planted next to the spot is nourished, as in some way are all trees, by the great bear himself.

The nearby Smokey Bear Restaurant features Smokey Bear Burgers.

Smokey II, like his predecessor, was a cub rescued from a forest fire. However, Smokey II didn't catch on with the public. When he died, the Park Service didn't know what to do with his body -- so they burned it.

Also see: Celebrities | Roadside Pet Cemetery

Smokey Bear Museum And Grave

Smokey Bear Historical Park

Address:
118 W. Smokey Bear Blvd, Capitan, NM
Directions:
Smokey Bear Historical Park. On the north side of Hwy 380 just west of the intersection of Hwy 246.
Hours:
Daily 9-5, off-season 9-4:30 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
575-354-2748
Admission:
Adults $2.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

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