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Central New Mexico Road Trip

Stray from the beaten path and explore central New Mexico, a sprawling, craggy desert with no shortage of superlatives.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Multiple days
Family Friendly

Overview:  In the span of 500 miles, you can find the country’s oldest continually inhabited Indian pueblo, an internationally acclaimed art... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Bosque Del Apache

Eight miles off Interstate 25, Bosque del Apache is an oasis of dirt roads, meadows, and marshes.

Address:
1001 Hwy. 1 S.
San Antonio, New Mexico
United States

Phone:
(575) 835-1828

2. Pie Town Cafe

The diminutive pie shop is one of the prizes of Pie Town.

Address:
Mile 56, U.S. Hwy. 60
Pie Town, New Mexico
United States

Phone:
(575) 772-2700

3. El Malpais National Monument

Evoking the South Dakota Badlands, this New Mexico preserve has a stark, austere beauty. This park’s rugged volcanic terrain means there are few actual trails; stop by the ranger station to pick up a map.

Address:
New Mexico Hwy. 117
Grants, New Mexico
United States

Phone:
(505) 285-4641

4. Fite Ranch Bed & Breakfast

Kick back on the porch swing at this 1930’s working cattle ranch in a dusty hamlet near the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Address:
Fite Ranch Rd.
San Antonio, New Mexico
United States

Phone:
(575) 838-0958

5. Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa

This Pueblo-style resort halfway between Santa Fe and Albuquerque offers authentic Tamaya activities (tribal folk-dance shows, huruna-bread tastings, pottery-making lessons) in addition to golf, horseback riding, and post-adventure pampering (try the ancient-drumming mud mask). It’s all part of the draw at this sprawling Native American-owned... More

6. Lightning Field

You need to book well ahead for a chance to visit the mysterious Lightning Field, a gridlike sculpture by Walter De Maria comprising some 400 stainless-steel poles. You can view the artwork only by spending the night. The site can accommodate only six visitors at a time; after checking in at the Dia Art Foundation’s office in Quemado, you’re taken... More

7. Los Poblanos Inn

Two historic buildings, designed by renowned New Mexico architect John Gaw Meem, sit under cottonwood trees along the Rio Grande.

Address:
4803 Rio Grande N.W.
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico
United States

Phone:
(505) 344-9297

8. Owl Bar & Café

The parking lot of this low-slung, ramshackle spot is almost always full, a testament to its mastery of New Mexico’s culinary sensation: green-chili cheeseburgers. Order two.

Address:
77 Hwy. 380
San Antonio, New Mexico
United States

Phone:
(575) 835-9946

This Pie Town establishment sells butterscotch, dutch apple crumb, New Mexico apple, cherry, peach, blueberry, (and on weekends:) banana cream, coconut cream, and chocolate pies. Though pies are the obvious specialty, try the green-chile stew before ordering a hearty dessert.

Address:
U.S. Hwy. 60
Pie Town, Arizona
United States

Phone:
(575) 772... More

Southwestern comfort foods (chiles rellenos; chimichangas) are the specialties at this cheerful, bustling adobe on Bernalillo’s main drag.

Address:
925 Camino del Pueblo
Bernalillo, New Mexico
United States

Phone:
(505) 867-1700

The tram ascends a 10,350-foot Sandia Mountain peak for breathtaking views over the city.

Address:
10 Tramway Loop N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
United States

Phone:
(505) 856-7325

Visit the museum for its Acoma tribal art and history exhibits. Then take a guided tour to the mesa-top pueblo, which has been inhabited continuously for some 1,200 years, and where tribe members still occupy the same adobe dwellings their ancestors did. Afterward, you can buy crafts and jewelry from Acoma artisans, shop for hand-coiled local... More

13. Yaak’a Cafe

Inside Acoma’s light-filled cultural center, Yaak’a Cafe serves hearty regional fare like elk burgers and traditional Acoma lamb stew.

Address:
I-40 West, exit 102, Sky City Cultural Center
Acoma, New Mexico
United States

Phone:
(505) 552-6604