New Mexico


Carrizozo is the county seat of historic Lincoln County, located at the intersection of U.S. Highways 54 and 380.  It is named after the Carrizo grasses that are abundant in the area.  Carrizozo means  “lots of Carrizo.”  The population 1,100, the elevation is 5,425, and the average rainfall is 12-14 inches.  There is an average of 286 days a year of sunshine.  Carrizozo's cost of living is 24.50% lower than the U.S. average.

Carrizozo, NM

Founded: 1899 by Charles Eddy. He and his brother John were building the El Paso & Northeastern Railroad from El Paso to Santa Rosa.
Carrizozo is somewhat famous for its "burro serenade."

The Twelfth Street Block in Carrizozo is a center for Art and Antique activity.
Gallery 401, Audrey Paton Antiques, offers rare antiques and furnishings from Europe and New Mexico. Some items were recently purchased at the RC Gorman estate sale.
Gallery 408 is the home of the Painted Burros of Southern New Mexico. These lively sculptures have been painted and embellished by local artists. Fine craft, folkart and photography are showcased in this Gallery. Look for the information on the Artist in Residence Program and Art Shows.

Carrizozo Clay features ceramic pottery items including sculpture, functional and decorative (lamps). Bird feeders, figures, paintings, tiles and bowls, all can be found in this creative shop. “Focus on the Artists” is scheduled once a month.  Look in the Calendar of Events.
Fortelny Fine Art
Fine art paintings in the studio of Steve Fortelny, by appointment only, 575-648-1180.

The focus of this fledgling museum is the community’s past as a railroad boom-town. One exhibit features a typical one-room school with a window overlooking a since-demolished county seat building. A new model railroad exhibit is a kid-pleaser.
Location: 103 12th St., Carrizozo (intersection U.S. 54 and 380). Hours: 10-2 Weds thru Sat. Nice gift shop. Costs: free, donations appreciated.  575-648-1105
Valley of Fires recreation area is located immediately adjacent to the Malpais Lava Flow. Approximately 5,000 years ago, Little Black Peak erupted and flowed 44 miles into the Tularosa Basin, filling the basin with molten rock. The resulting lava flow is four to six miles wide, 160 feet thick and covers 125 square miles. The lava flow is considered to be one of the youngest lava flows in the continental United States.

From a distance, Valley of Fires appears as barren rock but when you walk through the nature trail there are many varieties of flowers, cactus, trees and bushes typical of the Chihuahuan desert. Animals include bats, roadrunners, quail, cottontails, mule deer, barberry sheep, and lizards. It's also a virtual birdwatcher's paradise with great horned owls, burrowing owls, buzzards, hawks, gnat catchers, cactus wrens, sparrows and golden eagles.
Roy Dow’s Drug StoreHave a milkshake at this 1909 drug store and see a real 1930’s soda fountain.

1200 E Avenue
Carrizozo , NM 88301
Phone: 505-648-2921
9 holes (Public)
Highway 380 East
Carrizozo, NM 88301
(575) 648-2770
0 miles from the center of Carrizozo.

Open Breakfast and lunch only
Coffee and pastries and Sandwiches/Subs
113 Central Ave
Carrizozo, NM 88301
(575) 648-3090

Roy Dow’s drug store, for ice cream, milk shakes, sundaes only
1200 E Avenue
Carrizozo , NM 88301
Phone: 505-648-2921
Cuisines: American, Mexican, Southwestern
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine
111 Central Avenue
Carrizozo, NM 88301
(575) 648-2964
            Good Green Chile Cheeseburger , has Bar, Pool Tables
415 Central Ave
Carrizozo, NM 88301
 (505) 648-9994
Tony Ortiz – Mexican food
6505 U.S. 380
Carrizozo, NM 88301
BURGERS (Don’t know the name, used to be Elsie’s Tastee Freeze)   
            Highly recommended by Paul Pino
            102 Hwy 380
            Carrizozo, NM   88301


Three miles north of Carrizozo on US Hwy 54 is the turn-off to the “ghost town” of White Oaks.  A gold strike on Baxter Gulch in 1879 led to the establishment of White Oaks.  It was once a thriving community. The Brown Store building, the School House Museum, Hoyle Castle, and the Miners Museum are among the remaining buildings in White Oaks. 

White Oaks, NM. Once the second largest city in the state, White Oaks is just a ghost of what it was before residents tried to charge the railroad for right-of-way (and lost) and the gold mines petered out.  One of the surviving gems is the finest example of an eastern-influenced, brick four-room school house left in New Mexico today.  State-owned, and maintained by the local historical society; the whole structure is much the way it was when it was built in the late 1890s. 

There’s a small museum on the second floor documenting the past and many of the families that went to school here.   Michael and Cynthia’s great grandfather walked from the ranch to school in White Oaks and is in one of the photos on exhibit. 
Location: 12 miles northeast of Carrizozo via U.S. 54 and N.M. 349.
Hours: 10-4 Sat & Sun Memorial Day-Labor Day.
Costs: $2 per person or $5 per family donation.

A restored 1800s family home from the gold-boom era. Photos, drawings, self-guided tour. The nearby cemetery is the resting spot for the first governor of New Mexico, Susan McSween Barber and deputy J.W. Bell, killed by Billy the Kid when he escaped from the Lincoln County Courthouse. Annual event: Miner’s Day first Sat in June. Location: (see White Oaks Schoolhouse Museum). Hours: 9-5 daily Memorial Day-Labor Day. Costs: donations appreciated
This Victorian mansion built in 1893 by mine superintendent Andy Hoyle, for his Massaschusetts fiancée, a mail order bride. The story is, she came as far as Texas, then turned back, apparently disenchanted with the desert landscape. What happened after that seems to be obscured by history.  No public access.
The saloon building had been a lawyer's and then a surveyor's office back in the Gold Rush days and is now functioning as a saloon.  The Jicarilla mountains make a fantastic backdrop.

                                         Paul Pino and the Tone Daddies
A small farming and ranching community surrounded by the Lincoln National Forest. Capitán is the home of the world’s most famous firefighter Smokey Bear.  In 1950 the singed bear cub was found clinging to a burnt tree after a forest fire in the Capitán Mountains.  The Smokey Bear Historical Park and Museum pay tribute to Smokey’s role in history.  Historical Capitan also hosts the Wildland Firefighters Museum and many artists studios.

If you’re looking for a stuffed Smokey, this is the place. In a small one-room log cabin on the other side of the historical park is a collection of (not for sale) items that feature Smokey’s image, as well as shelves full of for-sale items like t-shirts and Smokey Beanie Bears. Location: 102 Smokey Bear Blvd. Hours: summer hours 9-5 daily (closed for lunch). Cost: free. 575-354-2298
Capitan, NM. Everything you ever wanted to know about Lincoln County’s most famous bear. Kids love the place. There’s a full-size talking Smokey and a small theater where a short documentary plays about the bear cub found in a 17,000-acre forest fire in the nearby Capitan Mountains.
He’s buried in the park next door. Annual events: Smokey Bear Days early May; Annual Smokey Bear Parade & Rodeo July 4th weeked. Location: 118 Smokey Bear Blvd., Capitan (U.S. 380 between Carrizozo and Lincoln). Hours: 9-5 daily. Adults $2, kids 7-12 $1, 6 and under free.

The Most Authentic Old West Town Remaining in the United States
This National Historic Landmark is considered by many historians to be the most authentic old west town remaining in the United States.  Center of the bloody Lincoln County War, the little hamlet was launched into the history books by a host of famous characters including Billy the Kid, Kit Carson, Pat Garrett, John Chisum and Lew Wallace.  Today you can visit six museums operated by the Lincoln State Monument and see numerous other historic buildings much as they looked in 1880. 
The Courthouse is one of only six State Monuments in New Mexico. The core of the historical importance here is the Lincoln County War and its players, which include Billy the Kid (he made a famous escape from the Courthouse), Sheriff Pat Garrett, John Chisum, Alexander McSween and John Tunstall.  The Courthouse seems almost untouched.


Location: 12 miles east of Capitan on U.S. 380 (30 miles north of Ruidoso).
Hours: Courthouse & Montaño Store 8:30-5 daily;
Dr. Woods Mansion & Tunstall Store 9-5 daily.
Cost: $6 for entrance to seven sites including the Anderson-Freeman Museum; NM residents 1/2 price on Suns (60+ free on Weds); otherwise $3.50 per location. 16 and under free with paid adult.
A division of the Hubbard Museum of the American West in Ruidoso Downs, the Anderson-Freeman is the best curated of all rural Lincoln County museums. There are extensive exhibits here documenting the Lincoln County War (depicted in the movie 'Young Guns,' among others) and a theater for viewing a short video. The museum also hosts the best gift shop on the back road museum tour.
Location: see above. Hours: 8:30-4:30 daily. Cost: $6 for the all-location pass, or $3.50
Phone:  575-653-4025

Ruidoso is about 33 miles, 50 minutes from Carrizozo
Cree Meadows: 301 Country Club Drive, Ruidoso 575/ 257-2733
Inn of the Mountain Gods: Carrizozo Canyon Road, Mescalero 575/ 464-7941 or –7945. This course has been listed in the top 25 golf courses in America!
The Links: 105 Sierra Blanca Drive, Ruidoso 575/ 258-5330 or 800/ 854-6571 This course is listed in the top ten best courses in new Mexico by Golf Digest Magazine! The course was designed by Jim Colbert, PGA Golf professional.
Cowboy Riding Stables: 1027 N. Lane Ruidoso Downs 575/ 378-8217
Ruidoso Downs: Opens Friday before Memorial Day & Closes Labor Day. For reserved seating phone 575/ 378-4431
Billy the Kid Casino: Located at the Ruidoso Race Track, Ruidoso Downs
Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino: 287 Carrizo Canyon Road, Mescalero
Ruidoso, New Mexico is surrounded by lakes and streams stocked with trout by the New Mexico Game and Fish department. Usually the fish are biting somewhere and visitors have a good chance of making a catch. Popular area Lakes include Bonito Lake Located off the Nogal turnoff of HWY 48 north of Ruidoso and Grindstone Lake which is located in Ruidoso off of Grindstone. The Inn of the Mountain Gods in Ruidoso also offers fishing in their resort lake with a purchased day permit.
Ruidoso River MuseumThere is something for everyone at the Ruidoso River Museum. From the finest collection of Lincoln County War Artifacts to a spectacular collection of one-of-a-kind jewels and memorabilia of the rich and famous including Elvis and Princess Di!
101 Mechem near Sudderth
Hubbard Museum of the American West:  A long way from being just another museum, The Hubbard Museum of the American West is a monument to times and places that are not quite as far off as you may think. It is a place where the visitor can not only experience the West, but actually participate as one passes through various portals of time; from the day when only Native Americans inhabited the area right on up and into our modern world. 841 Hwy 70 West in Ruidoso Downs

Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world's great natural wonders - the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Here, great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert and created the world's largest gypsum dune field. 
White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion of this unique dune field, along with the plants and animals that have successfully adapted to this constantly changing environment.


On your way to Carrizozo from Albuquerque, or on your return trip, take a side trip to see the three Salinas Pueblo Missions , or at least Gran Quivera, the only excavated site.  Once, thriving American Indian trade communities of Tiwa and Tompiro speaking Puebloans inhabited this remote area of central New Mexico. Early in the 17th-century Spanish Franciscans visited the area and found it ripe for their missionary efforts.  By 1677 the entire Salinas District, was depopulated of both Indian and Spaniard alike.

Gran Quivera lies 25 miles south of Mountainair on N.M. 55. Gran Quivira is the most extensive pueblo and mission ruins in the monument and was an important trade center for many years.  Sparse desert flora partially hides the remains of ancient stone houses built by early American Indians who inhabited this area. Farther along the trail an excavated mound reveals the broken foundations of a large apartment house and several ceremonial kivas typical of the southwest Pueblo Indian culture. Nearby, the ruins of two mission churches attest to the presence of Spanish priests in this isolated region. The quiet remnants of the village of Las Humanas, now called Gran Quivira, only hint at the vibrant society that thrived here until the late 17th century.

Quarai  is located eight miles north of Mountainair near the village of Punta de Aqua on N.M. 55.  It is the smallest of the three ruins and dates back to 1300 AD. The Mission La Purísima Concepción de Cuarac ruins, with magnificent red sandstone walls five feet thick and 40 feet high, is the most complete church of the Salinas Missions. The Quarai were a Tiguex Puebloan band of American Indians that originated in present-day New Mexico. Because of Apache hostilities they fled to El Paso in around 1675; later they moved to Isleta del Sur on the Rio Grande


Abó is 9 miles west on US 60 and one-half mile north on NM 513.  It served as a major trading center. The unexcavated pueblo ruins at Abo date back to the 1300s though there is evidence that Mogollon pit house builders had occupied the area beginning around 1150 AD. Located in a pass that opens to the Rio Grande Valley, this was a major trading center for the area. Mission of San Gregorio de Abo which was completed in 1659, employs buttresses on the 40-foot high walls. It is one of the few remaining examples of medieval architecture in the United States.

A little more about New Mexico

New Mexico
State Letters: NM
Latitude: 31° 20′ N to 37° N
Longitude: 103° W to 109° 3′ W)
first inhabitants: Paleo-Indians, Mogollon & Anasazi cultures, Pueblo peoples and groups of Navajo, Apache and Ute

The name Nuevo México was first used by a seeker of gold mines named Francisco de Ibarra who explored far to the north of Mexico in 1563 and reported his findings as being in "a New Mexico".

Congress admitted New Mexico as the 47th state in the Union on January 6, 1912.

Home to awesome national treasures: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, White Sands National Monument, Santa Fe National Forest, cacti & yucca, to name a few

(p.s. after you've had a few cocktails at the reception, ask Lea about the fun night we spent at the top of carlsbad after watching the bats leave)

source: wiki

Oh, little known fact:
"In Carrizozo, about 48% of adults are married. Single people feel welcome in Carrizozo, and many people make their homes without family or roommates living with them. Singles, rather than married couples, seem the order of the day in the town.

Carrizozo is a good place to find men, since there are so many of them in the town. Its large mature (over 65) population grounds the town nicely."

If you walk from Brooklyn, NY to Carrizozo, NM, it will take you 27 days and 10 hours to cross 2,020 miles. So leave now, basically.

View Larger Map