Rio Puerco, I-40 west of Albuquerque

“... In the wide-open land west of Albuquerque the filmmakers built their own version of a Wild West town”

In the wide-open land west of Albuquerque the filmmakers built their own version of a Wild West town.

The production concentrated many of its activities at a humble locale along central New Mexico’s Río Puerco. Construction crews worked around the clock, building the clapboard town of Colby. They put up a bank, a ranch, a granary, a saloon, and a train station. Promontory Summit went up just around the corner.

Around the town, train crews laid five miles of track, all fully functional. The trains, built just for the film, were based on historical locomotives. The real Jupiter was built in Schenectady, New York, and was part of  the Central Pacific Railroad before making its way to Promontory Summit for the driving of the Golden Spike. In the film, the Constitution meets the Jupiter, but a century and a half ago, a train called No. 119 met the actual Jupiter. The final locomotive was the Colby town train.

For additional train action, special-effects technicians and woodworkers put together “road rigs”—steel platforms on which they placed full train cars so that filmmakers could shoot inside and outside the train as mountains rolled by in the background. Pulled by semi-tractors, these rigs drove through the mountains near Angel Fire for days. The Enchanted Circle also saw the end of production in New Mexico—Depp and Verbinski’s band played the closing party at Angel Fire.

Nearby Attractions:

Route 66
Historic Route 66 made a more elaborate footprint on New Mexico than on any other state as it wound its way from Chicago to Santa Monica. Looping up through Santa Fe and down through Los Lunas on its original alignment, and then taking a straighter shot largely mirroring the path of Interstate 40 since 1937, Route 66 helped shape the entire midsection of the state. Remnants of the road are everywhere, from the architecture to the businesses and even in the cities that thrived or died depending upon the bends in the Mother Road itself and the eventual replacement by a superhighway. Plenty of opportunity exists all across New Mexico to scratch your nostalgic itch.

Route 66 Casino Hotel
Operated by Laguna Pueblo this casino hotel is on Interstate 40 eight miles south of the movie set. It is Route 66-themed, including the casino, the restaurants, the nightclub and hotel. It also includes a large concert space that frequently features national performers.

Acoma Pueblo-Sky City Cultural Center
In addition to housing Acoma Pueblo’s Haak’u Museum, the Cultural Center offers guided tours of the amazing Sky City. The mesa-top village has been home for the puebloan residents for centuries, and a small number still live there year-round. Even the drive from the interstate through the valley to the base of the mesa offers breathtaking views on New Mexico’s unique landscape.

Sandia Tram, Albuquerque
The Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway climbs above deep canyons and breathtaking terrain, covering 2.7 miles on its trip from the base of the Sandia Mountain to the crest. It is a popular ride at sunset because of the views overlooking Albuquerque far below, but it is a thrill at any time of the day. At the top is an observation deck offering views from 10,378 feet, hiking trails for the adventurous, and a full service restaurant. The Tram also serves as transportation for winter skiers and summer mountain bikers, since it drops you off at the top of the Sandia Peak Ski Area on the back of the mountain.

Old Town, Albuquerque
Governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdez founded Albuquerque in 1706, with what is now Old Town’s Plaza at its center. San Felipe de Neri Church, the oldest building in the city, was built in 1793. Surrounding the rest of the Plaza originally were family homes. Today those adobe homes and the many hidden walkways, courtyards and patios are dedicated to shoppers, diners and art lovers. Old Town is home to several museums including the Museum of Natural History and the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History.

Plaza Blanca, Abiquiu NM

“...Georgia O’Keeffe called Plaza Blanca 'The White Place.' It is featured in many of her paintings.”

Georgia O’Keeffe called Plaza Blanca 'The White Place.' It is featured in many of her paintings. Now on private property, the Dar Al Islam Educational Center has graciously allowed visitors to hike and take photographs among the chalky white peaks and canyons of this unique landscape. Ask in Abiquiu for directions to Dar Al Islam, and check in at the office before leaving your car to head out on foot.

Nearby Attractions:

Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center
The 21,000-acre ranch offers a Georgia O’Keeffe Landscape Tour, incredible hiking trails, dinosaur & anthropology museums, B&B lodging & camping, classes & breath-taking scenery.

Ghost Ranch Piedra Lumbre Education & Visitor Center
The Piedra Lumbre Center has picnic tables and a gift shop, as well as a small snack area. The center hosts permanent galleries and exhibits as well as traveling exhibits from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. Previously known as the Ghost Ranch Museum it is a partnership between Ghost Ranch and the Carson National Forest. A mile-and-a-half north of the main Ghost Ranch entrance on Highway 84.

The Georgia O'Keeffe’s Abiquiu House and Studio
Located at the entrance of the Abiquiu pueblo, O'Keeffe’s Abiquiu House and Studio is open to visitors with various pre-scheduled tour options. To the extent possible, the house remains as she left it in 1984, when she moved from Abiquiu to Santa Fe. She lived at either Abiquiu or Ghost Ranch until 1984, when she moved to Santa Fe, where she died two years later. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe now owns the house.

Echo Amphitheater
This natural wonder is located about 20 miles north of Abiquiu. A ten-minute walk from the parking lot leads you to this tremendous 'theater' that ages of erosion shaped into the cliff face.

Monastery of Christ in the Desert
In the Chama Canyon wilderness at the end of a 13 mile dirt road off from US 84 near the Ghost Ranch. The monks practice the Benedictine life of prayer, reading, and manual labor. The Monastery is situated in a beautiful canyon in northwestern New Mexico, surrounded by miles of government-protected wilderness, thus assuring and promoting solitude and quiet for the monastic life. The church, meditation garden, and gift shop are open to the public from 9:15 a.m. -- 5:00 p.m.

Abiquiu Lake and Dam
North of Abiquiu. Boating, water skiing, camping, fishing, picnicking. Toilets, showers, water faucets, grills, and picnic shelters.

Saddleback Ranch and San Cristobal Ranch, Lamy NM

“...Lamy is a small New Mexico community founded in 1879, best known as a historic rail stop. ”

This pair of privately owned ranches occupies rugged land off of Highway 285 about 20 miles south of Santa Fe. Lamy is a small New Mexico community founded in 1879, best known as a historic rail stop. The railroad known originally as the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe (now Burlington Northern Santa Fe) passed through this station, ironically never actually going to Santa Fe itself. In 1896 the Fred Harvey Company built one of its famous railyard Harvey House hotels here, the luxurious El Ortiz. The hotel was torn down in 1943.

Nearby Attractions:

Santa Fe Southern Railway
Offering excursions between the Santa Fe Railyard and the Lamy Station, including day trips, night trains, or special event and private chartered trains Vintage rail passenger cars and open flatbed cars offer riders a unique view along the route traveled by Santa Fe’s earliest rail tourists, artists, and the scientists brought in the early 1940s to populate the secret city on the hill, now known as Los Alamos. The rail spur connecting Lamy to Santa Fe is 120 years old.

Legal Tender Restaurant, Lamy
Gamblers and gunfighters fill the history of this vintage piece of New Mexico’s authentic “Old West” heritage. The Legal Tender is located inside the Lamy Railroad & History Museum building, which was originally the site of Lamy’s General Store, established in 1881. Famous outlaws and lawmen have walked through these doors, including Billy the Kid.

Santa Fe Railyard
The redeveloped Railyard is becoming a new center of Santa Fe activity. The city owns the Railyard, while tenants include non-profits such as the Farmers Market, internationally renowned arts organization SITE Santa Fe, Hispanic cultural center El Museo Cultural and Warehouse 21 teen art center. Businesses include restaurants, shops and galleries. And in addition to the excursion Santa Fe Southern rail rides to Lamy the Railrunner commuter train makes its northernmost stop here, connecting Santa Fe to cities including Bernalillo, Albuquerque, Los Lunas and Belen.

Santa Fe Plaza
The plaza is the heart of Santa Fe, and home to some of its most famous museums, hotels and galleries.
Among the “don’t miss” attractions are the Native American vendors under the portal of the Palace of the Governors, which also happens to be the oldest continuously inhabited public building in the United States and houses the state’s history museum. You will also find the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts within a block of the Plaza. In 1922 La Fonda became the latest hotel to sit at the southeast corner of the Plaza, continuing a 400-year history of hotels on the site. From 1925 to 1968 it was a Harvey House hotel, and is now locally owned.

Museum Hill, Santa Fe
One parking spot will net you access to four world-class museums on this hilltop just a short drive from Santa Fe’s Plaza. The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, and the Museum of International Folk Art all share this patch of scenic Santa Fe real estate.

Canyon Road, Santa Fe
Along Canyon Road you will find more than 100 art galleries and studios packed in to less than ¾ of a mile of narrow roadway. Santa Fe is world renowned as a center for art and artists, and Canyon Road serves as Santa Fe’s Arts District. A stroll up and back down the road will treat you to distinctive adobe and stucco architecture, an abundance of hidden courtyards and patios, and of course artwork filling virtually every available space.

Angel Fire Resort & Flying Horse Ranch, Angel Fire NM

“...Situated in Northern New Mexico, Angel Fire is the perfect place for outdoor adventure whether you venture to this mountain town in the winter or summer. ”

Situated in Northern New Mexico, Angel Fire is the perfect place for outdoor adventure whether you venture to this mountain town in the winter or summer. Summer time offers excellent mountain biking and a chance to try the states first zip line high above the treetops. If you prefer to stay closer to the ground Angel Fire Golf Resort offers picturesque mountain golf.

Nearby Attractions:

Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway
New Mexico has long been known as The Land of Enchantment, and it’s only fitting that this designated scenic byway be called the Enchanted circle. Explore the 83-mile loop through mountains, valleys, mesa, and national forest… all unique to north central New Mexico.  The Enchanted Circle is centered around Wheeler
Peak, the highest point in the state.  Make stops in the beautiful mountain towns of Taos, Questa, Red River, and Eagle Nest along the way.

Rafting, Taos NM
There are a few different rafting companies in Taos where you can enjoy an afternoon on the water. No matter your skill level you can enjoy the beautiful scenery while paddling through winding waters.

Taos Pueblo
Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The multi-storied adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. Visit Taos Pueblo to immerse yourself in the culture and to understand the traditions of its people.

Horseback Riding, Red River NM
Serving the outdoor enthusiast for over 30 years, the Red River Stables invite you to come ride the scenic Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico the way it was done 100 years ago - on horseback!
Rides are available for all levels from beginner to the most experienced riders. Combine your ride with fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing, or even turn it into an overnight camping adventure.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park, Angel Fire NM
Victor and Jeanne Westphall began plans to build the unique memorial in 1968 to honor their son who died in Vietnam earlier that year. After opening in 1971 it quickly came to serve its visitors as a memorial to all of the soldiers lost during the war in Vietnam. Today it is the only state park in the United States dedicated solely to the memory of those killed in Vietnam. vietnamveteransmemorialstatepark

Highway 64, Cimarron NM

“...This rural highway heads east out of Cimarron across the wide-open ranching grasslands of northeast New Mexico, and heads west out of Cimarron into the winding mountain canyons of north-central New Mexico.”

This rural highway heads east out of Cimarron across the wide-open ranching grasslands of northeast New Mexico, and heads west out of Cimarron into the winding mountain canyons of north-central New Mexico. Between Cimarron and Eagle Nest you will need to be alert to follow all of the twists in the narrow canyons, though your eyes will be drawn to the scenery around you. Most notable on this drive might be The Palisades, which are steep bluffs that hang like curtains along the roadside as you pass through Cimarron Canyon State Park.

Nearby Attractions:

St. James Hotel, Cimarron NM
To get your Wild West fix make your way to the St. James Hotel in Cimarron. This place has some real cowboy and outlaw history. Famous guests such as Wyatt Earp, Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill Cody, Billy the Kid, etc. have stayed here and 26 men have been shot and killed here. There are still bullet holes in the ceiling of the bar. Some say the hotel is haunted, but you can see for yourself.

Aztec Grist Mill Museum, Cimarron NM
Billed as New Mexico's Most Unusual Museum, ranching giant and famed New Mexico Wild West character Lucien Maxwell built the Aztec Grist Mill in 1864. It provided ground grains for Maxwell’s ranching operations, for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail, and for the Jicarilla Apache nation. The mill-turned-museum is only open in the summer.

Colfax Tavern, Cold Beer NM
No “Cold Beer” isn’t an official city, and the mayor/owner Roger isn’t actually an elected official. But his is the only business on a 40-mile stretch of Highway 64 between Cimarron and Raton, so it’s hard to miss. A favorite among the local ranchers for its pizza, burgers and, of course, cold beer. A true taste of modern-day New Mexico ranching life.

Philmont Boy Scout Ranch, Cimarron NM
Philmont is the Boy Scouts of America's largest national High Adventure Base, covering about 137,000 acres of New Mexico mountain wilderness. Philmont's Visitor Center is a museum featuring exhibits of scouting and area history. Be sure to sign up for a tour of the Villa Philmonte. The Villa was originally home to oilman Waite Phillips, who built it in 1926 for his family to live on the vast ranch.

Highway 4, Gilman Tunnels, Valles Caldera, Jemez Springs NM

“...The Jemez Mountains offer beautiful red rock formations, ponderosa forest, and wide-open wilderness valleys.”

This trio is tied together by geography, novelty, and beauty. The Jemez Mountains offer beautiful red rock formations, ponderosa forest, and wide-open wilderness valleys. A drive along Highway 4 from the small town of San Ysidro to the Valles Caldera National Preserve will take you through not only a range of New Mexico landscape and scenery, but a range of New Mexican culture, including the small town of Jemez Springs and Jemez Pueblo. The Gilman Tunnels were created for train travel, but are now converted to roadway. Turn off Highway 4 two miles north of the Jemez Pueblo Walatowa Visitor Center onto 485. In a little more than 5 miles you will come upon the pair of tunnels. There is a small parking area immediately past the second tunnel. Valles Caldera is an 89,000-acre federal preserve inside a collapsed volcanic crater. It offers hiking, wildlife viewing and fishing among its many available activities.

Nearby Attractions:

Jemez Springs Bath House, Jemez Springs NM
The popular Bath House is a non-profit operation owned by the Village of Jemez Springs. It offers both hot and cold soaking tubs in mineral-laden spring water, along with massages. While in Jemez Springs be sure to make a stop in Los Ojos Restaurant and Saloon, if only take in the unique, rustic décor.

Fenton Lake State Park
Set within a Jemez Mountain valley Fenton Lake offers camping, hiking, fishing, and human-powered boating. The surrounding forest makes birding, wildlife viewing and scenery readily available. fentonlakestatepark

Walatowa Visitor Center, Jemez Pueblo NM
Visitors will find cultural exhibits, locally made arts, and traditional Pueblo food and information about surrounding points of interest. And the center is placed within a canyon of beautiful red rock walls and features. Be sure to visit the locally operated food stands across the street from the visitor center for Native oven bread, tacos, and desserts.

Pajarito Ski Area, Los Alamos NM,

“...Bandelier National Monument covers some 33,000 acres of canyons and mesatops, and perhaps most notably the clear evidence of human inhabitation dating back 11-thousand years.”

This mountainside recreation area is just outside of Los Alamos. It obviously offers skiing and snowboarding in winter, but in summer it also has mountain bike trails accessed by the lifts, and plenty of hiking trails.

Nearby Attractions:

Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos NM
Los Alamos National Laboratory operates this museum focused on the history and research that has connections to the national laboratory. The best-known part of that history is the Manhattan Project, which led to the development of atomic bombs in World War II. In addition to defense and technology exhibits, Bradbury includes a focus on Laboratory research related to economic and environmental issues.

Bandelier National Monument
This spectacular monument covers some 33,000 acres of canyons and mesatops, and perhaps most notably the clear evidence of human inhabitation dating back 11-thousand years. Cliff dwellings carved into the rock walls and structures filling the canyon bottoms are still in place, left by the most recent inhabitants from about 1150 to 1550 AD. You can explore the canyon trails yourself or opt for a ranger-guided tour.

Shiprock Monument, Shiprock NM

“... In the northwest corner of New Mexico no geographical formation is more distinct or better known than Shiprock.”

In the northwest corner of New Mexico no geographical formation is more distinct or better known than Shiprock. It juts from the surrounding landscape making it visible for miles in every direction. To reach the closest point on a paved road take Highway 491 south out of the city of Shiprock for 7 miles, then turn west (right) onto Red Rock Highway and go 8 miles where the road crosses the spine of the Shiprock formation. Shiprock itself is on Navajo Nation land, and Navajos consider it a sacred site. We would ask that you honor Navajo wishes and simply view and photograph Shiprock from the roadside.

Nearby Attractions:

Four Corners Monument
Nowhere else in the nation can you, with adequate flexibility, place each hand and each foot in a different state. The Navajo Nation maintains the Four Corners Monument as a tourist destination. A marker indicates the point where New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and Colorado share a single point. The area is remote with limited services, so pack some water and fill the tank before heading for this unique monument.

Pinon Hills Golf Course, Farmington NM
One of the nation’s premier municipal golf courses, Pinon Hills constantly ranks well in annual golf magazine reviews. The course is in its third decade, and still offers challenging, scenic golf at remarkably affordable cost.

Zia Pueblo

“...To anyone traveling along the road eighteen miles northwest of Bernalillo, New Mexico, Zia Pueblo is almost invisible. It is situated on a rocky knoll, where it blends into the landscape like a natural feature of the terrain. ”

In addition to lending its rugged, stunning landscape to numerous films, Zia Pueblo also loans its famous sun symbol to New Mexico’s flag. The pueblo’s artists and potters are famous for their traditional works.

Nearby Attractions:

San Ysidro, NM
This small village has a beautiful Catholic church worth a stop, but might get most visitors because of its role as stepping off point for a trip through the Jemez Mountains.

Bernalillo, NM
Known as the “City of Coronado,” Bernalillo offers plenty of history, culture and arts to visitors.  Among the attractions is Coronado State Monument along the Rio Grande, where Francisco Vasquez de Coronado camped with his entourage during his 1540 venture into what is now New Mexico on his search for cities of gold. The monument also preserves the ruins of Kuaua Pueblo.

Big Annual Events

Annually In March
The Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show returns to the Sandia Resort every March
Early April
Cowboy Cooking at its Best
April 25, 26, 27, 2013
Gathering on Nations Pow Wow
Memorial Day Weekend
Santa Fe’s only museum-quality Indian art show and sale.
July 5-7, 2013
Roswell UFO Festival
July 4th Weekend
Come out and enjoy this terrific family friendly event with plenty of award winning BBQ.
July 12, 13 & 14, 2013
The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market
Santa Fe
July 26, 27 and 28, 2013
62nd Annual Traditional Spanish Market
Santa Fe
Late July Early August
Get down to Earth at the Silver City Clay Festival
4th weekend in August
The Great American Duck Race
August 7 - 11, 2013
Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial
Annually In August
The Antique Indian & Ethnographic Art Show
August 12-18, 2013
SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market
Santa Fe
August 15th - 17th, 2013
Hot Chili Days & Cool Mountain Nights
Red River
August 31 & September 1, 2013
Hatch Chile Festival
Hatch, NM
September 21 - 22, 2013
Hot Air Balloon Invitational
White Sands National Monument
SEPTEMBER 25 - 29, 2013
Santa Fe Wine & Chile Festival
Santa Fe
Mid September
Globalquerque! is New Mexico's Annual Celebration of World Music and Culture.
September 27-29, 2013
The Whole Enchilada Festival
Las Cruces
Late September
We welcome you to come, explore, and help sustain the rural economy
October 5 - 13, 2013
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
October 11 - 13, 2013
Lincoln County
Cowboy Symposium
November 19 - 24, 2013
Festival of the Cranes
Bosque Del Apache
December 6 - 8 2013
Red Rock Balloon Rally