What to Expect: Touring the Turquoise Trail Tour from ABQ

Take a journey through time as you travel the bucolic backroads between Santa Fe and Albuquerque visiting ghost towns of the past and soaking in the romance of the Ortiz and Sandia mountains. As you travel along these windy roads soak in the scenic mountain views and the quaint historic mining towns.

Our first stop is at the Tinkertown Museum, where the exterior is as much of a museum as the treasures inside. Once inside, you will be transported to the past as the animation takes over. The winding hallways are filled with eccentric collections of Americana like wedding cake toppers, antique tools, bullet pencils, and more. For only a quarter you can get Otto the One-man-band to play you a tune or Esmerelda the Fortune Teller to read your fortune.

Then we will travel to the Henderson Trading Post in the town of Golden. This was the site of the first gold rush west of the Mississippi in 1825, before the gold rushes in California and Colorado. The yield from the mine was disappointing and the town was abandoned after a short stint. However, the Henderson Trading Post is still active and is filled with New Mexican treasures from the past and present. After browsing the Trading Post we will visit the San Francisco de Assisi historic church to admire the beauty of the adobe structure, its unique cemetery and the panoramic views of the Sandia and Ortiz.

Then we will continue on to Madrid, another mining town, which is rich in history and art but suffered a similar fate to that of Golden. Dating from the early 1800’s with the discovery of coal, it became a booming mining town supplying coal for the Santa Fe Railroad, local consumers and the US Government. The town became famous for its Fourth of July parade, lit Christmas displays and minor league baseball games in the first lighted stadium in the west. When coal use declined the town fell silent, until in the early 1970’s when artists and crafts discovered its hidden majestic beauty. They converted old company stores and houses into quality shops, galleries, and services. We will enjoy a freshly prepared lunch at the Hollar Cafe in the center of town and then wander through the electric galleries and shops. You will feel like you stepped back in time to the wild west.

We will follow the Turquoise trail to the mining town of Cerrillos, known for its Ancestral Puebloan turquoise mines which were critical to the jewelry making of the prehistoric Indians and is still prevalent in Native American jewelry today. It was once considered as the capital of New Mexico, today Cerrillos, is a picturesque reminder of the Old West. There are several Shops & Galleries, a Post Office, Health Clinic and family homes. We will visit the Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum & Petting Zoo and the Cerrillos Hills State Park.

Finally with your pockets full of treasures from the past and head full of the stories of the wild west, we will travel back to Albuquerque on the interstate. Let us take you back in time on a journey through the old mining towns of the Land of Enchantment as we travel through the backroads of New Mexico.