Traveling from Albuquerque to Santa Fe you can be a really boring person and take I-25 north, or you can meander up the historically significant Turquoise Trail (NM 14). The trail is a designated National Scenic Byway comprised of 50+ miles (more if you veer off at the south end to drive the Sandia Crest Scenic Byway). A few of the points I thought were interesting:
Sandia Crest Scenic Byway: My first taste of mountains in a while. A short drive that climbs 4,000 feet above Albuquerque, and worth it if only for a break from the desert. I’d never been so thrilled to see trees.
Golden, New Mexico: Ten miles north of the Sandia Crest turnoff is Golden, a ghost town devoid of tourists. Golden was the first gold rush area west of the Mississippi River (take that, California).
Madrid, New Mexico: The most touristy town along the trail, Madrid is your typical mining-town-turned-artist-colony (like Jerome, Arizona). It was a booming mining town until coal use declined, then became a ghost town until the 1970s when artists arrived and turned its historic buildings into colorful galleries, studios, cafes and more.
Explore more of New Mexico’s Turquoise Trail here.