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Billy the Kid Trail

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Ride Stats:

  • Distance: 84 miles / 135.2 km
  • Ride Time: 2-4 hours
  • Approximate Fuel Costs: $6.38
  • State: New Mexico
Submitted by:
OpenRoadRider pro

Billy the Kid Trail
New Mexico

Billy the Kid Trail pays tribute to the infamous 'Wild West' outlaw and several other western icons, including Smokey the Bear. From the Hubbard Museum of the American West, to Fort Stanton, to the Lincoln State Monument, to the Smokey Bear Museum and Park, the region promises exciting experiences filled with culture, history, and recreation.
In Ruisodo Downs, the Hubbard Museum of the American West boasts a distinction among the Southwest's museums. More than a mere collection of wagons and photos, it chronicles the contributions of the horse to western culture. Dave McGary's remarkable horse sculpture, 'Free Spirits at Noisy Water,' sits at the museum's entrance. Wander inside to find a diverse collection of fine art, family heirlooms, and western memorabilia. Visit the museum and watch as the history of the West unfolds.

For a more interactive experience with nature, travel north to Fort Stanton, which features fantastic camping, hiking, and horseback riding. Explore the series of twelve caves that sits within the reservation's borders. The most famous of the twelve, Fort Stanton Cave is the third longest cave in New Mexico. These caves, open to the public, also provide the perfect setting for universities, archaeologists, and anthropologists to conduct studies on prehistoric Indian culture and land geography. Fort Stanton lies in the heart of the Fort Stanton Reservation. Originally constructed in 1855, it protected Anglo-European and Hispanic settlers from Native American invasions and served as a frontier outpost. It also housed a number of famous westerners, including Kit Carson, Billy the Kid, and General 'Black Jack' Pershing.
From Fort Stanton, backtrack west to the Smokey Bear Museum and Park in Capitan. This quaint place pays homage to a courageous little bear that remains the nation's icon for fighting and preventing forest fires. While exploring the park, see the beautiful Capitan Mountains where the fire started years ago. Heading east on the Trail, stop at the Lincoln State Monument and see the town of Lincoln like it was in the late 1800s. Visit the museums, particularly the old Court House, which offers a fascinating look into the area's history.
No place along Billy the Kid Trail is capable of claiming excitement through merely one channel. The region offers more than 'just' recreation or 'only' history. A combination of culture, Western American history, and recreation complements the grassy plains, dense pine forests, and stunning mountain views of the natural terrain.
The altitude along this Byway ranges from 6,500-7,000 feet above sea level. There are few, if any, seasonal limitations. All of the roadways are paved, and snow is cleared in the wintertime if there is significant accumulation.

Best Time to Drive
Summer and fall are the best times to drive the Byway because of the fall color in the forests and the cooler mountain temperatures in the summer.

High Season
July & August are the high seasons on the Byway.
Information was obtained by permission from

This is a motorcycle ride in the state of New Mexico. This motorcycle route has 9 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by OpenRoadRider in March. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by OpenRoadRider

Rider Photos:

  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 1 for Billy the Kid Trail
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 2 for Billy the Kid Trail
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 3 for Billy the Kid Trail
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 4 for Billy the Kid Trail

Ride Scenery:

Historic SitesUrban/ResidentialParksFall ColorsForestMountainsRuralRiverFarm Land

Best Time to Go

Spring, Summer, Fall

Road Characteristics:

Straight RoadSweeping Curves RoadRolling Hills

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Previous Comments from other Riders:

trev1300 says:

From the start point, I just rode west on 70, then north through ruidoso & capitan, then west on 380. The section I did was really nice, with great views. I'd recommend it to anyone going through this area. I was being chased by a storm, so I didn't stop and see the stuff that's mentioned along the way.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM


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The best of the best. These folks have ridden and shared more roads than any other ORJ member this month.