First, it’s not “really” a cave. At least not in the Carlsbad Caverns sense. It is a giant hollow carved out of a rock hillside by a river that spent millennia rushing past.

And, at least as I experienced it, there is no particular connection to or population of foxes.

Fox Cave

So the name Fox Cave lacks a strong tie to predictability, maybe even to reality. And in that sense the name couldn’t fit the place better.

I’ve driven by dozens of times over the years, traveling out of Ruidoso and past Ruidoso Downs on the way to Lincoln or Roswell. But I’ve never stopped. For most of that time the place was clearly abandoned and being used by locals as an unofficial dump.

It was just a curiosity as I sped by on Highway 70 destined for somewhere that didn’t look like a 1940s abandoned movie set.

But now it is open for business again. And I had to stop to figure out exactly what that business is. I’m still not sure, but I won’t hesitate to recommend that you stop in to try to figure it out yourself.

Dean now manages the place and was all too glad to relate the long and colorful history of the place. No room to tell all of that here, but an appetizer can be that this walled off cave once served as the storefront selling more knives (yes, knives) than anywhere else in the country.

Today it sells everything you can’t find anywhere else. From crack-’em-yourself geodes, to chupacabra hands, to alien artwork. Watch the clock because you will get enthralled in one or two of the crowded aisles inside the semi-dark cave and run out of time before you get to the framed and mounted bats.

Fox Cave

The term “roadside attraction” leaps to mind even as you are pulling in. Sure it has a completely legit museum housed in the casitas outside, and a collection of gems and jewelry that would be just as comfortable on Santa Fe’s plaza.

But Fox Cave isn’t in Santa Fe, it’s on a roadside. And it is without question an attraction.

For more on Fox Cave, and other eccentric road trip stops like it, check out The Enchanted 8 "Road Trip For True Eccentrics."