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Our Journey: The Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway between Santa Fe & Albuquerque.

Our Journey date: 2023-08-21

In August 2023 I stumbled across the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway! It’s a 65 mile trail between Santa Fe and Albuquerque named for the rich beautiful blue-green turquoise deposits found near its northern end. It was first mined by the Pueblo people as early as 900 A.D. and was used for centuries by Native Americans and Spanish explorers. In the 1800’s miners began to flood the area in search of the many rich minerals. 


I found myself at the north end of the Sandia Mountains seeking a shortcut to the other side and took the 11 mile graveled road NM 22/CR 57A off I-25 just N of Bernalillo at Santo Domingo over to Golden. My GPS tried to take me a different way but a local told me the gates were locked thru the reservation and head north just a bit more for a beautiful drive and indeed it was!


It was an easy drive along the graveled road and wow was she ever beautiful meandering by a few ranches with beautiful juniper trees and grassy landscapes!



I believe that is the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance, a subrange in the Rocky Mountains!


Loved the gate to this ranch!



When I hit pavement again at NM-14, I took a left and headed north 12 miles to the little mining ghost town of Madrid. Today she is a is a quaint little town, the perfect spot to stop and smell the flowers!


There were several cute restaurants and shops and I noticed that the Cannabliss said "park while you shop" so I went in and found all sorts of treasures from local sage to local blown glass - sweet! 

I also made a quick stop at the tshirt shop in town and learned that this is also the place that the cows were suspected of being mutilated by aliens in the 1970s. I didn't feel a need to get that t-shirt but I did get one that said Route 66 for my friend even though it is not on route 66! Ha!

I sure thought the artist who had a hand at this water tower along the way was talented!


As I came to Golden I noticed a beautiful old church up on the hill and swung in to take a peek! Oh is she ever pretty and peaceful! It is the The San Francisco Catholic Church built in 1830. This beautiful little adobe church sitting along the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway was restored by historian and author Fray Angelico Chavez, during his tenure as padre of the San Jose in Cerrillos in the 1960s.


There's a grave yard as you enter and I spotted one of our Veterans, David Padilla, who served in Vietnam in the Army. Gone but not forgotten. Thank you for your service. What a peaceful resting spot along the Turquoise Trail.


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The Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway between Santa Fe & Albuquerque.

Tags: albuquerque, Char the Explorer, ghost town, land for sale, Land Sales, madrid, mountain property, New Mexico, NM, real estate, San Pedro Mountains, santa fe, Santa Fe County, Smile4u inc, south Mountain, the turquoise trail national scenic byway