Named for the rich turquoise deposits found throughout the area, this byway carves through wild rock outcroppings, piñon and juniper-dotted hills, and a couple of delightfully quirky towns. 

Embark on the byway from the north, just outside of Santa Fe, or from the south, just east of Albuquerque, on NM Hwy. 14. Perfect for a one-way jaunt between the two cities, the 52-mile byway takes only a bit longer to drive than the Interstate highway taken by most travelers. 

Travel through the mining ghost town of Cerrillos. Once considered as the site for the capitol, the town boomed with 21 saloons, 5 brothels, 4 hotels, and several newspapers during the mineral boom. A century or so later, the remnants of its sleepy Front Street serve as the backdrop to more than a dozen films, most prominently, Young Guns and Young Guns II. Something of a metropolis along this route, the 150-person village of Madrid is a recovered ghost town that now exists as a creative community alive with small galleries, cafes, and shops. Chain businesses are forbidden by the landowners’ covenants and everything here is a true original. Don’t miss the old Mine Shaft Tavern, a real classic!