Lincoln Travel Guide

The small town of Lincoln, located in southern New Mexico, is steeped in colorful history from the likes of Billy the Kid, Kit Carson and the fierce Apache Indians. This National Historic Landmark is popular with tourists who want a taste of the old Wild West without the neon glare of fast food joints and convenience stores. The neighboring Sierra Blanca Mountains offer excellent recreation opportunities to go with the historical sites.

Lincoln is part of a larger 10 square mile area which has been designated a National Historic Landmark due to its important role in the settling of the American West. The town itself is actively engaged in preserving its heritage, which has resulted in a wonderful atmosphere free of the usual American consumer trappings.

Its only street is lined with timeless adobe homes and old buildings dating back to its often violent past in the 1800s. You won’t find any gas stations or mini-marts in Lincoln, only locally-run cafes and motels. Because little has changed since its heyday, visitors will get a genuine sense of how the Old West must have felt like when guys like Billy the Kid had gunfights in the streets and made his escape from the courthouse jail.


Lincoln County Courthouse: a lot of amazing history happened right here in Lincoln’s courthouse, which provides plenty of interesting exhibits, relics and information about its colorful and violent past including Billy the Kid’s jailbreak.

Fort Stanton Recreation Area: take a break from the history and enjoy the rolling grasslands and foothills of the Sierra Blanca Mountains in this pleasant, uncrowded recreation area.

Billy the Kid Festival: every August the town comes out and celebrates its most infamous resident by reenacting his legendary escape from the courthouse jail.

Lincoln State Monument: the entire town is considered to be the Lincoln State Monument and can easily be crossed on foot. Don’t blink or you might miss it.

Lincoln County Historical Center: get the low down on the town’s fascinating history which includes influences by Hispanics, Apaches, ‘Buffalo Soldiers’ and cowboys.