The lore of the Cerrillos hills is rich with legends of mines, as they have been worked there for a thousand years. Turquoise has religious significance to many Indian people, nearby Mount Chalchihuitl is known to have contained a great lode of the precious gemstone and stone tools found there seem to testify to the truth of the legends.
Gold mining in the area surrounding Cerrillos is best described as hardscrabble until the big strike of 1879, when hard rock miners from Colorado struck a big lode. Cerrillos then became the center of the mining industry in the area that included Golden and Madrid, and encompassed gold, silver, copper, turquoise, lead and coal.
There are several shops and galleries, a post office, health center, premier riding stables and the Cerrillos Hills State Park with five miles of hiking trails. The Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum contains hundreds of artifacts from the American Old West and the Cerrillos Mining District.
While once seriously considered for the capital of New Mexico, today Cerrillos, with its dirt streets is a picturesque reminder of the Old West. Turn off State Highway 14, also known as The Turquoise Trail, into the Cerrillos Historic District. The local Historical Society has plaques on 19 buildings. You'll find local turquoise at the Brown's Casa Grande Trading Post, Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum and Petting Zoo, a town landmark and park information at the Cerrillos Hills State Park visitor center. Plan for a few hours and you can enjoy the hiking, biking and horse trails through the state park. The town has been the setting for several motion pictures including Walt Disney's Nine Lives of Elfego Baca and Young Guns. The beautiful St Joseph Church has mass every Sunday.
About 28 miles south of Santa Fe on State Road 14.
From Santa Fe follow the Turquoise Trail Hwy. 14 approximately 12 miles south of the NM Interstate 25 and Hwy. 14 Intersection. Make a right turn into Cerrillos Village.
From Albuquerque follow the Turquoise Trail Hwy. 14 approximately 31 miles North of the NM Interstate 40 and Hwy. 14 Intersection. Make a left turn into Cerrillos Village