In October of 2017 my mom and I took a road trip through central New Mexico. The first leg of our trip took us down Route 70, where we stopped at Fox Cave to break up the trip to Roswell.
Fox Cave isn’t a cave that you tour like Carlsbad Caverns. The actual cave is in the gift shop. It’s educational, but not slick like a modern museum.
That doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth a visit. In my opinion, this place is New Mexico’s best tourist trap.
It is a tourist trap, but I don’t mean that in a bad way. I LIVE for tourist traps. I want to visit as many as possible. Any time I plan a trip I visit Roadside America and Atlas Obscura to see what cool destinations I can experience that are off the beaten path.
Fox Cave was high on my list of things to see on this road trip. It has almost all of the elements of a great tourist trap. The gift shop is built into the cave, so you can admire the rocks while shopping for rocks. The there’s no restaurant, but the gift shop sells snacks if you need to eat. The real attractions here are the museums and enormous outdoor statues.
You’ll know you’re at Fox Cave when you see these statues by the side of the road. They give you a taste of what you’ll see inside. There are a huge tyrannosaurus head you can climb into, and two arms reaching to the sky. There’s also a crashed UFO (of course) and a statue of Billy the Kid.
For a very reasonable fee of around $5 you can tour former hotel cabins that have been turned into mini museums about dinosaurs, aliens, celebrities, and Billy the Kid. (Fox Cave was his supposed hideout.)
The whole place is great for photos, indoors and out. We were there on a weekday so it wasn’t too busy. I could set up the timer on my camera and not be totally embarrassed by people walking in on us taking pictures with, say, a life-size stegosaurus being eaten by raptors.
WHY does this DINOSAUR have HAIR??! I don’t know but I love it.
This was in the Billy the Kid museum. I just loved this photo of Mrs. Pat Garrett. She can join my posse.
Many of the things in the museums are replicas, but that doesn’t make them any less interesting or fun to look at. There was, in fact, too much for me to look at. I skimmed through the celebrity cabin and most of the Billy the Kid cabin because I was all museum-ed out. There’s just so much stuff in each cabin that the actual gems are seemingly lost in a sea of junk. The alien cabin is hardly educational, but contains lots of spooky alien props you can photograph.
Can you believe how blue the sky is here?? This was my first time in any mountains and the blueness of the sky was mesmerizing. It’s like staring up into space!
I would say that this place is not to be missed for the roadside attraction lover. If you’re driving on Route 70 this is a great place to stop and stretch your legs, even if you don’t pay to see the museums. But if you don’t, you’re really missing out.
You can read about my whole trip in this series of posts: