Experience a bit of the “Old West”. This museum will take you back in time! From dinosaurs to the adventures and tribulations of the Santa Fe Trail, justice revealed with the capture of the notorious Black Jack Ketchum, experience ground zero of the 1930 Dust Bowl Days and much more. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Winter) and 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Summer). Contact: Toll Free: (888) 789-6641 Local: (575) 374-2977 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. MAP
157 feet from Hotel Eklund. MAP
The neon moon on the Luna Theater’s classic neon sign welcomes every visitor to Clayton’s historic main street. Located across the street from the Hotel Eklund, the Luna shows movies Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Tickets are $5 For Adults And $3 For 12 And Under. Movies start At 7:30 pm, box Office Opens At 7:00 pm.
Kiowa & Rita Blanca National Grasslands
Prior to settlement, the Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands area was home to many American Indian tribes. These grasslands encompass approximately 230,000 acres in six counties within New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. The abundance of buffalo and wildlife provides strong testimony to the importance of the grass resource. The government parcels of grassland are intermingled with privately owned tracts. Developed and dispersed recreation program which includes bird watching, hunting, hiking, rafting, picnicking, and more are available within the grasslands and surrounding forest land.
The area became one of the Federal geovernment's Land Utilization Projects in the 1930s. In 1960, the land was transferred to the Forest Service, and they were then designated as National Grasslands.
Point of Rocks National Historic District
64.8 Miles from Hotel Eklund. MAP
The promontory known as Point of Rocks is a narrow rocky-sloped mesa with a spring at its south base. Located on the Gaines Ranch, it affords visitors unspoiled, serene vistas of the Great Plains, SFT ruts, the grave of Isaac Allen who died in 1848, and 11 unmarked graves.
Certified Site of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail. Point of Rocks, with its vantage points and year-round spring, was a popular campsite for various Indian buffalo-hunting parties and SFT caravans traveling the Mountain Route. Numerous teepee rings and sweeping views of SFT ruts can be seen there, and the well maintained access road provides numerous opportunities to view grazing antelope and other wildlife.
The 170 acre lake provides outstanding fishing for rainbow trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass and walleye. 5 state record walleye have been caught out of Clayton Lake. Clayton Lake also has one of the most spectacular dinosaur track ways in the world. Over 500 tracks from several types of dinosaurs can be viewed from a boardwalk on the dam’s spillway. Fees are $5 per vehicle. Camping Fees are $8 – $14. Contact Charles Jordan (575) 374-8808 for more information.
59.1 Miles from Hotel Eklund. MAP
The Capulin Volcano National Monument offers a variety of tours and extensive hiking against the backdrop of the Raton-Clayton volcanic field. The park is open 7 days a week (except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day) from 8:00 am – 5:30 pm (Summer) and 8:00 am – 4:30 pm (Winter).
McNees Crossing - Santa Fe Trail
22.4 Miles from Hotel Eklund. MAP
This crossing, over the North Canadian River (or Corrumpa Creek, as local residents call it), is located on New Mexico Highway 406, 3.5 miles west of the Oklahoma state line, then 1.5 miles south of the small community of Moses. The site is located on private land, but access is unrestricted.
This rock crossing was named for a young scout of an east-bound caravan, Robert McNees, who (along with Daniel Munro) was killed there in the autumn of 1828 by Indians. The crossing was also used as a campground, and a group of traders headed by Josiah Gregg celebrated the Fourth of July there in 1831, the first such celebration in present-day New Mexico.
The site, which is still visible, retains much of its original appearance. Good wagon ruts may be seen in the area. A short distance to the north is a gate; please close it if you go through. The site is a National Historic Landmark. A state historic sign sits in the actual ruts of the Santa Fe Trail. Nearby is a small marker erected in 1921 on the 90th anniversary of the 1831 July 4th celebration.
"The Missouri Intelligencer" of Franklin, Missouri, November 12, 1828.
Two men, Monro and M'Nees were riding in advance on an east-bound wagon-train and on reaching the crossing of the creek soon to be M'Nees, dismounted and lay on the bank, awaiting the arrival of the wagons. A stream crossing was generally an accomplishment of all hands. Perhaps it was a warm afternoon, perhaps they were tired men. With nothing urgent on their minds, they fell asleep.
Creeping up on the two figures, Indians gently lifted their rifles and, even as wagons came down the opposite slope, shot the sleepers with their own guns.
McNees was dead on arrival of his companions. Monro was desperately wounded.
No caravan was equipped to offer more than the roughest first-aid and sincerest good wishes. On that, Monro servived the rough thirty miles of Road to Upper Cimarron Spring (in Oklahoma panhandle). By then, from loss of blood, shock or infection, perhaps all three, he died.
At the moment of burial at Upper Spring, six Indians approached. There was a moment of heated argument among the pallbearers but words were made superfluous by rifle fire from the lesser of wit. Five Indians lay dead and the chain of misunderstandings between Red and White was lengthened by another bloody link.