Road Trip West to El Morro

El Morro National Monument is about 2 hours west of Albuquerque. Here are some sites you can see along the way:

  • Rio Puerco Bridge: built in 1933 and in use until 1997
  • Mission San José de Laguna: According to this article, the Laguna Pueblo is the only pueblo established after European colonization–the town was first settled following the 1680 Pueblo revolt. After the reconquista of 1692, this church was built in 1701. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to visit myself, so the photograph of it below this website. Nearby is the Paraje Church, built in 1935.
  • Old Route 66 Structures: you can stop to see the Budville Trading Post (opened in 1928), the Acoma Curio Shop, and the ruins of Whiting Brothers gas station.
  • Santa Maria Mission: further west is this church, designed by famed architect John Gaw Meem and built in 1933. The photograph of it below comes from the New Mexico Digital Collections
  • Acoma Pueblo: 20 minutes south from I-40 is Acoma Pueblo, visiting information here
  • Grants: founded in the 1880s, the city enjoyed a boom with uranium mining after its discovery in 1950. Some sites include the Mining Museum and old Route 66 buildings such as the Uranium Cafe and Charlie’s Radiator Service
  • El Malpais National Monument: a “richly diverse volcanic landscape”, you can also visit the Ice Cave and Bandera Volcano, which is privately owned and so costs a fee to enter
  • El Morro National Monument: “a reliable waterhole hidden at the base of a sandstone bluff made El Morro (the headland) a popular campsite for hundreds of years. Here, ancestral Puebloans, Spanish, and American travelers carved over 2,000 signatures, dates, messages, and petroglyphs”

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