NM Film Trails

With over 360 days of sunshine and a stunning, diverse topography, New Mexico is not new to Hollywood. New Mexico film history spans over 100 years and includes more than 600 productions. Film has reached every corner of the State from “Transformers” on location in the dunes of White Sands National Monument to “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade” along the Cumbres Toltec Railroad outside of Chama. Since 2003 alone, over 205 major productions have shot all over New Mexico. Visit New Mexico State Film Office’s Filmography to see the gamut of storylines filmed right here, statewide, featuring a host of celebrities from Faye Dunaway to Johnny Depp. Now you can visit many of these film locations by downloading movie maps provided under each region listed below. Tour New Mexico in true style: eat at the restaurants and stay at the hotels of your favorite stars or featured in your favorite shows. It’s an exciting way to experience New Mexico and another way to make New Mexico a True Adventure.

Featured Production: Lone Survivor

“...From Kirtland AFB, to the top of the Sandia Mountains, down to I-25 Studios – This riveting adaptation of the harrowing real life & death Navy SEAL operation is a thoroughly New Mexico Film. Lone Survivor will be in theaters on December 27, 2013”

When the backdrop is our glorious New Mexico vistas, the story is the compelling account of real-life heroes in battle, direction by Peter Berg, cast of Hollywood A-listers and actual Military Veterans, movie magic happens…New Mexico style!

Cast members including Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Eric Bana, Ben Foster, Alexander Ludwig and Sammy Sheik have been in New Mexico since late September filming Peter Berg’s adaptation of the book by Marcus Luttrell.

Luttrell literally wrote the book, Lone Survivor based on the 2005 Military Operation known as Operation Red Wings in which, “a four-man Navy SEAL team consisting of Lt. Michael Murphy, and petty officers Danny Dietz, Matthew Axelson and Marcus Luttrell departed for a reconnaissance mission high in the Hindu Kush Mountains near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The team’s target was Ahmad Shah, a local terrorist leader with close ties to Bin Laden who led a group of insurgents referred to as the “Mountain Tigers”. Five days after insertion, Luttrell was the only SEAL to make it out alive.”

In June Luttrell is quoted as saying, “I want to make sure that the movie is true to the book. Most people get their information from movies and TV and don’t read so I want to make sure this movie is as realistic as possible.” – Luttrell to Blackfive.net

Watch the latest trailer

Lone Survivor: Film Locations

Lone Survivor was shot on location in New Mexico.



Diamond Tail Ranch,

Kirtland Air Force Base,

Sandia Ranger District,

Santa Fe  Ski Area (Espanola Ranger District)

Central Region

“...For five seasons Albuquerque has been the location and the setting of the hit TV series Breaking Bad. Be sure to take the Albuquerque Trolley Company Breaking Bad tour! ”

Central New Mexico

For five seasons Albuquerque has been the location and the setting of the hit TV series Breaking Bad. Be sure to take the Albuquerque Trolly Company Breaking Bad tour!
Breaking Bad

The Desert Sands Motel, where Josh Brolin meets his end, was supposed to be in Texas in No Country for Old Men. You'll actually find it on Central Avenue in Albuquerque!
No Country for Old Men

In the classic film Lonely Are the Brave, Kirk Douglas rides his horse straight up the 10,678' sheer face of the Sandia Mountains on the eastern edge of Albuquerque to elude Walter Mathau.
Lonely Are the Brave

Rio Rancho

As a vampire, Colin Farrell terrorized the quiet neighborhoods of Rio Rancho in Fright Night.
Fright Night

Laguna Pueblo

The Joad's passed through the remarkably picturesque Laguna Pueblo in Grapes of Wrath. It is just as photogenic today as it was then!
Grapes of Wrath

Isleta Pueblo

One of the first films ever made by the Edison company was Indian Day School, a 50 second depiction of children leaving school at Isleta Pueblo.
Indian Day School


The town of "Texico, New Mexico" in Kevin Costner's Swing Vote was actually the crossroads of Becker Avenue and 2nd Street in Belen.
Swing Vote

Movies that have filmed at the Railyards:

Albuquerque: Once the largest steam locomotive repair facility in the country. The Railyard has been a prime location for numerous productions.

Click on the image to download a map of Central New Mexico Film locations


North Central Region

“...Take the beautiful scenic ride on State Road 41 to Galisteo – you’ll recognize the landscape from Westerns such as The Cowboys, Silverado, Lonesome Dove, and 3:10 to Yuma.”

North Central New Mexico



Ride the vintage Cumbres and Toltec Railroad through 10,020' Cumbres Pass! Just like they did in Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
The History of Film in New Mexico


The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is the 5th highest bridge in the United States and has been featured in Terminator Salvation, Wild Hogs, and Natural Born Killers.
Terminator Salvation AND Natural Born Killers

Many scenes in Easy Rider were shot in Taos. When Billy and Wyatt head for "The Commune" they ride past the 1,000-year-old dwelling, Taos Pueblo.
Easy Rider

Los Alamos

Ever wonder how New Mexico looked like Wyoming for the TV Series Longmire? Visit the Valles Caldera national Preserve – you'll be amazed!

Santa Fe

Jeff Bridges won an Oscar for his role in Crazy Heart. A visit to the Santa Fe Opera will make you feel like you're in the end of the movie!
Crazy Heart

Take the beautiful scenic ride on State Road 41 to Galisteo – you'll recognize the landscape from Westerns such as The Cowboys, Silverado, Lonesome Dove, and 3:10 to Yuma.
Lonesome Dove AND 3:10 to Yuma


The town of Madrid on the beautiful Turquoise Trail was featured in the John Travolta movie Wild Hogs. Stop at "Maggie's Diner"!
Wild Hogs

Zia Pueblo

Some of the most diverse desert landscapes can be found at Zia Pueblo, which has seen many films including Cowboys and Aliens.
Cowboys and Aliens

Film Locations in North Central New Mexico

Click on the image below for a map of North Central New Mexico film locations


Northeastern New Mexico

“...The cult movie classic, Red Dawn, used a whole lot of Las Vegas in the film. The Calumet Says, 'Howdy' mural is still visible on the corner of 6th and Grand Avenue”

Northeastern New Mexico

The Enchanted Circle

The Enchanted Circle is a beautiful mountain drive through Questa, Red River, Eagle Nest and Angel Fire. The area was the backdrop for Chloe Moretz in Let Me In and Sean Penn in This Must Be the Place.
Let Me In AND This Must Be the Place


Remember the song in Big Bad John by Jimmy Dean? Well – they made it into a movie with beautiful Vermejo Park, just outside Raton, as the backdrop.
Big Bad John

Las Vegas

Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) shot Carson Wells (Woody Harrelson) at the Plaza Hotel in No Country for Old Men. You’ll recognize a lot of Las Vegas from the Academy Award winning film.
No Country for Old Men

Much traveler confusion resulted when No Country for Old Men built the “Mexico Border Crossing” on the University Ave – Interstate 25 overpass.

The cult movie classic, Red Dawn, used a whole lot of Las Vegas in the film. The Calumet Says Howdy” mural is still visible on the corner of 6th and Grand Avenue (PHOTO OP!)
Red Dawn


Roy, New Mexico stood for “Ray, Wyoming” in Did You Hear About the Morgans?. Sarah Jessica Parker in Roy? TRUE!
Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Santa Rosa

The Joad’s ramshackle truck drove through the town of Santa Rosa in The Grapes of Wrath. The actual Route 66 passes through this classic town.
The Grapes of Wrath

Film Locations in Northeastern New Mexico

Click on the image below to Download a map of Northeastern New Mexico Film Locations


Northwestern New Mexico

“...When the Joad’s cross into “Arizona” in The Grapes of Wrath, Pyramid Rock in Gallup NM is clearly visible in the background. ”

Northwestern New Mexico


The impressive edifice of the Shiprock formation rises 1,583’ from the high desert plains. It has appeared in diverse films such as Transformers, Natural Born Killers, and The Hallelujah Trail.
Transformers the Movie AND Natural Born Killers AND The Hallelujah Trail

Bisti Badlands

One of the most unusual landscapes in New Mexico, The Bisti Badlands played another planet in Star Gate Universe: Malice.
Star Gate Universe: Malice


Though technically The Rockies end near Santa Fe, Red Rock was also the stetting for Rocky Mountain with Errol Flynn and Slim Pickens.
Rocky Mountain

Stunning Red Rock Park hosted many westerns through the years, including Only the Valiant starring Gregory Peck and Ward Bond.
Only the Valiant

When the Joad’s cross into “Arizona” in The Grapes of Wrath, Pyramid Rock in Gallup NM is clearly visible in the background.
The Grapes of Wrath

Zuni Pueblo

The film Dark Blood shot some scenes at Zuni Pueblo. The film was never released due to the death of its star, River Phoenix, during production.
Dark Blood


The volcanic plug Cabezon Peak is visible for miles in this area. It also has appeared in My Name is Nobody and the TV show Breaking Bad.
Breaking Bad

Acoma Sky City

Acoma Sky City sits atop a spectacular 367’ high mesa as a protection for its inhabitants. In 1929 the film Red Skin asked permission to build a road to the top. It is still the only existing road to the reach the pueblo today!

Film Locations in Northwestern New Mexico

Click on the image below to Download a map of Northwestern New Mexico Film Locations



“...The Very Large Array, one of the world's premier astronomical radio observatories, consists of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro”

Southwestern New Mexico

The Very Large Array

The Very Large Array (VLA) is a radio astronomy observatory consisting of 27 (209 metric ton) moveable antennas. Jodie Foster used it to communicate with aliens in Contact. Visitors welcome!


Terence Hill met Henry Fonda in Mogollon in My Name is Nobody. This ghost town looks almost exactly like it did then. This film was Fonda’s last western.
My Name is Nobody

Truth or Consequences

The town of Truth or Consequences (formerly Hot Springs) got its name from a contest run by the Radio/TV show of the same name. The show’s host, Ralph Edwards, visited the town for Fiesta every year for 50 years after broadcasting the show from the town.

Silver City

The awesome (and huge) Silver City area copper mines were used for the film North Country starring Charlize Theron.
North Country


Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan battled it out on the dry lakebed west of the town in Seraphim Falls.
Seraphim Falls


The WWII era hangars at the Deming Municipal Airport appear in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skpl

Las Cruces

Parts of the Clint Eastwood “oater” Hang ‘Em High were shot in Las Cruces. Try Old Mesilla for a taste of Old Mexico.
Hang ‘Em High

Film Locations in Southwestern New Mexico

Click on the image below to Download a map of Southwestern New Mexico Film Locations



“...George Clooney strode the grounds of the New Mexico Military Institute in The Men Who Stare at Goats. ”



Christopher Walken steals the abused dog outside Mae’s High Valley Café in Moriarty in the film Around the Bend.
Around the Bend


10-4 Good Buddy! Kris Kristofferson rumbled through Estancia in the classic Trucker film Convoy.


Historic 12th Street in Carrizozo became a Post-Apocalyptic Main Street in The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington.
The Book of Eli


One of New Mexico’s most colorful, historical figures, Billy the Kid, found his fame in Lincoln. The town looks much like it did then and was used in the film Dirty Little Billy.
Dirty Little Billy


Roswell was the backdrop for a real life UFO encounter in 1947 – and for the David Bowie film The Man Who Fell to Earth. Don’t miss the UFO Museum!
The Man Who Fell to Earth

George Clooney strode the grounds of the New Mexico Military Institute in The Men Who Stare at Goats.
The Men Who Stare at Goats


Director Henry Levin wanted to make a film called Journey to the Center of the Earth – where in New Mexico would you do that? Well… Carlsbad Caverns of course… a journey to the center of the earth is for real. TRUE!
Journey to the Center of the Earth


White Sands is the largest surface deposit of gypsum sand dunes in the world. It has appeared in many films, including Transformers 1 & 2.
Transformers 1 AND Transformers 2

Film Locations in Southeastern New Mexico

Click on the image below to Download a map of Southeastern New Mexico Film Locations


Download the Complete Film Trails Brochure

“...See the locations where your favorite films were shot”

Click Here to download the complete New Mexico True Film Trails Brochure provided to you by the New Mexico Tourism Department.

Note this is a PDF file at 9.3Mb

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
Gathering on Nations Pow Wow
Memorial Day Weekend
Santa Fe’s only museum-quality Indian art show and sale.
Fourth of July Weekend
Roswell UFO Festival
July 4th Weekend
Come out and enjoy this terrific family friendly event with plenty of award winning BBQ.
The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market
Santa Fe
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
Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial
Annually In August
The Antique Indian & Ethnographic Art Show
SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market
Santa Fe
Hot Chili Days & Cool Mountain Nights
Red River
Hatch Chile Festival
Hatch, NM
Hot Air Balloon Invitational
White Sands National Monument
Santa Fe Wine & Chile Festival
Santa Fe
Mid September
Globalquerque! is New Mexico's Annual Celebration of World Music and Culture.
The Whole Enchilada Festival
Las Cruces
Late September
We welcome you to come, explore, and help sustain the rural economy
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Lincoln County
Cowboy Symposium
Festival of the Cranes
Bosque Del Apache
Red Rock Balloon Rally
Taos Ski Valley
Every Summer, get out and dance
July - August in Santa Fe
The world renowned performance venue
Annually in Santa Fe
World class performers every year
Al fresco in Angel Fire
Come enjoy some of the best performances in the Southwest
World Class Taos
Recognized for creative programming and first-class artistry
Annually in the Fall
Midway, Livestock, Art, & everything New Mexican!
Annually in the Fall
Come celebrate the Tradition
Taking Place all year long
Visit the calendar of event for Native American here!
One of the Duke City's Bigest Sporting Events
Come on out and bring your dog
New Mexico Senior Olympics
You don't stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing
Annually in the Fall
Experience a course across ancient land
World renowned Race in the Spring
New Mexico's premier road cycling race
Memorial Day Weekend
Celebrating 20 years of flag football
Every October
Visit the cool pines.
Weems Artfest has become a nationally recognized juried art event ...
The Ruidoso Century Race