About Algodones, New Mexico
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 5,112 ft (1,558 m). Population: 688 (2010).
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6).
Algodones is a census-designated-place and village in Sandoval County. It was located on the alignment of Route 66 from 1926 to 1937. See its Location map.
Camino Real and the Old 1926 Route 66 in Algodones
The Valley of the Rio Grande River has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years. The Native American farmers reached this area around 1200 AD, they speak an eastern dialect of the Keresan languages. They originally lived in Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde but moved here escaping climate change and warfare. They built their pueblos along the Rio Grande and used its water to irrigate their crops.
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado explored the area in the 1540s and named the native people "Pueblo", after the Spanish word for "village".
In 1598 Juan de Oñate reported several Pueblo villages along the native trade route that bordered the Rio Grande River.
Origin of the name Algodones
The name is a Spanish word that means "cotton". And may be due to the fact that cotton was grown in this area (Keres and Tiwa districts) and sold to the other pueblos in the 1700s. But drought and less land available for cultivation plus the raids of the Apaches led to its demise.
The Spanish "Camino Real" (or Royal Highway) followed the Rio Grande and linked it to Santa Fe in the north and Mexico City in the south. A great rebellion (Pueblo Revolt) took place in 1680 and the natives expelled the opressive Spanish. But freedom would be short lived. The Spaniards returned in 1692 and resettled the area.
This area was part of the province known as Tiguex by the Spanish. Until the early 1800s, the town was very probably known as Bernalillo.
After its independence from Spain, Nueva Mexico passed on to Mexico, but lost it after the Mexican - American War (1846-48), ceding it to the United States. During this war, Algodones was described as follows: "the city of Algodones, containing 1000 inhabitants... is one of the handsomest towns in New Mexico. The vineyards, yards, pleasure grounds, orchards and gardens are walled in neatly."
It was in those days the largest town in the region and a post office opened in Algodones in 1855, but it moved to Bernalillo in 1881.
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad reached the area in the 1880s and built a stop. Later, in 1926 Route 66 was aligned through Algodones between Santa Fe and Albuquerque bringing tourists and prosperity. But it would not last for long. in 1937 the Mother Road was realigned along a shorter alignment, the "Santa Fe Cut-off" left Algodones in the backwaters again.
Where to Stay
There is lodging along Route 66 near Algodones in Santa Fe and Albuquerque:
Lodging Near Algodones along Route 66
Heading West on the Main alignment..
- 25 miles. Motels and Hotels in Albuquerque.
- 87 miles. Motels and Hotels in Acoma Pueblo.
- 100 miles. Motels and Hotels in Grants.
- 160 miles. Motels and Hotels in Gallup.
Heading East main Route 66....
- 61 miles.Motels and Hotels in Moriarty
- 138 miles. Motels and Hotels in Santa Rosa.
- 196 miles. Motels and Hotels in Tucumcari.
The Santa Fe Route 66 segment
>> There are RV campgrounds near Algodones (Albuquerque and Santa Fe).
Weather in Algodones
The climate in Algodones is semi-arid, it has cold winters and hot summers. Altitude and the dry air cause large the daily temperature swings of around 25°F (14°C).
It is sunny (278 sunny days per year) and the relative humidity is low. The average High ⁄ Low Temperatures in summer (Jul.) are around 92 ⁄ and 65 °F (33 ⁄ 18 °C) respectively. The average in winter (Jan), are: 47 ⁄ and 24 °F (8 ⁄ -4 °C)
Rain tends to fall during the summer monsoon season (July through September): about 11 in. per year (279 mm).
Snow falls between October and March with up to 23 inches (58 cm) yearly.
The tornado risk in Algodones is nil, there are no Tornado watches in the county.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Getting to Algodones
Algodones lies on the original 1926 alignment of Route 66 and is linked to the modern alignment at both ends of the "Santo Fe Loop": Albuquerque, to the south and through Santa Fe and Las Vegas NM, to Santa Rosa, Tucumcari and Glenrio which is located on the Texas ⁄ New Mexico state line.
Further west is Gallup and Arizona.
Map of Algodones and Route66
Map of Algodones and Route 66 in New Mexico.
Pale Blue: Historic 1926 Route 66 alignment; Red line:US 84 & I-25 where they overlap the old alignment.
Black: the rest of Route 66.
See Route 66's alignment in Texas
Remove or restore State shading
Route 66 itinerary through Algodones
Route 66 in New Mexico
Click to read the Full description of Route 66 across New Mexico.
The Santa Fe Loop (1926 - 1937)
Visit our Santa Fe Loop page which describes the complete 1926 to 1937 alignment of Route 66 from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque through Pecos, Santa Fe and Bernalillo.
Below is full information on Route 66's 1926 alignment in Algodones.
Algodones, New Mexico: Attractions & Sights
Things to Do and See
Algodones its Attractions
Algodones is a bucolic farming community in the Rio Grande Valley, on the Camino Real and 1926 to 1937 alignment of Route 66.
The small town is located on the eastern side of the Rio Grande, north of the Huertas Creek and west of I-25. On the edge of the arable land.
Camino Real sign on "old" Route 66. Chris English
You will see alfalfa growing in the fields and cattle grazing. The Camino Real would later become U.S. 66 between 1926 and 1937, and after Route 66 was realigned to the south, through Moriarty, U.S. highway 85 remained on the original roadbed.
US.85 in the 1930s and 40s
The highway U.S. 85 was promoted as "America's Oldest Road" as it ran along the historic El Camino Real and Santa Fe Trail.
Traffic along this highway that linked Albuquerque to Santa Fe was good for local business, but when the road was realigned further east (now I-25) in 1955, all comercial enterprises in the village suffered the blow.
Tours & Itineraries
Nearby Route 66 Towns
San Felipe Pueblo
Elevation 5,131 ft (1,564 m). Population (2012): 2,678. See the Town's location.
San Felipe Pueblo is located 6.5 miles north of Algodones, (see the Map with directions).
The village of San Felipe Pueblo (its name in the Eastern Keresian language is "Katishtya") is located on the Rio Grande River in Sandoval County, NM
The Pueblo, founded in 1706, on the western side of the Rio Grande comprises Native Americans who speak an eastern dialect of the Keresan languages.
The village is very conservative from a cultural point of view and maintains its traditional customs and religion despite its closeness to Albuquerque, which is only 30 miles away.
What to see and do
The plaza is quite unique as it has been worn down over centuries of dances to its current level about 3 feet below the surrounding areas (1 m).
The best time to visit the Pueblo is on the Saint Philip (San Felipe) annual feast, held on May 1. San Felipe is the namesake and patron saint of the village and the Green Corn dances are the highlight. The San Pedro Day's festival is another key date to visit the town.
The annual arts and crafts show is held in October, a good opportunity to buy local crafts and jewelery. For those interested in crafts, the local beadwork and heishe can also be purchased at the gift shop.
Th tribe operates the Casino Hollywood next to I-25 plus a restaurant and gas station.
Important rules of etiquette during your visit to a Pueblo
Pueblos are on tribal lands and the local customs, religion and traditions must be respected.
- Check that access is allowed (leaders may restrict access for private ceremonies) and be prepared to pay an access fee.
- Photography. Taking photos may be totally prohibited or a permit may be required. Check with the Tribal Office. Even if you have a permit, always request permission before taking a photo of a tribal member. Leave your cell phone out of sight and silence it, as it could be confiscated.
- Don't litter. Don't carry or use alcohol or drugs.
- "Off Limits" signs must be respected. Don't remove artifacts or pottery shards.
- Don't speed. Respect traffic signs.
- Respect the local people. Dances are not a show, they are a ceremony. Show respect and remain silent at all ceremonies.
- Cemeteries, Kivas, ceremonial rooms are sacred places and entry is not allowed for non-Pueblo people.
The Mormon Battalion Marker
12 mi. north of Algodones along I-25. Map and Directions
New Mexico Historical Marker
The monument was erected in 1940, and can be seen on the north side of I-25 near Budaghers. It commemorates the march of a group of 500 men, mostly Mormon pioneers who marched from Council Bluffs, Iowa (July 16, 1846) to San Diego in California (Jan 29, 1947) during the Mexican American war. They were the Mormon Battalion
Day Trips and more Tours
We detail all the Day Trips that can be done in the area in our pages on Santa Fe attractions and Albuquerque attractions. These tours include the Pueblos to the north and west, outdoor activities, National Monuments, parks and historic sites.
The Old alignment of Route 66 near Algodones
Route 66 was originally aligned through Algodones between 1926 and 1937, when the "Santa Fe Cut-off" shortened the Mother Road by linking Santa Rosa with Albuquerque via Moriarty and bypassing Santa Fe, Las Vegas and Algodones.
Las Vegas to Santa Fe 1926 -1937 Route 66 alignment
See the description of this segment here: Las Vegas to Santa Fe along Route 66.
The original 1926 alignment South of Santa Fe
The road is cut in parts so it no longer exists. We will describe and show a map of each of the segments that can still be driven between Santa Fe and Bernalillo.
1. From the Historic Santa Fe Plaza to Country Road 56C (by airport). Map of this segment.
2. From the Country Road 56C to north of Santa Fe River. Map of this segment.
Cañada de Santa Fe and the climb out of Santa Fe River Canyon: you can hike it. See its Satellite view and Map
3. From the Santa Fe River to NM-16. Map of this Segment.
4. From NM16 south to Domingo. Map of this segment.
3. From Domingo, to modern NM22. Map of this segment.
South of this point the road no longer exists, it cut across through Budaghers and on the south side of I-25 kept on towards Algodones, north of which it became NM-313 or Camino Real and kept along it until reaching Bernalillo. Map of this segment.
The map's is from the David Rumsey Collection. Metadata: Author and Publisher: Rand McNally and Company, Chicago. Date: 1927. Full Title: Rand McNally junior auto road map Arizona, New Mexico. Copyright by Rand McNally & Co., Chicago, Ill. (1927). List No: 5755.032 Page No: 66-67 Series No: 36.
The 1932 - 1937 alignment
In the early 1930s the road between Domingo and Santa Fe was straighened out and the horrible hairpin climb out of Santa Fe River Canyon was bypassed. The road followed the current alignment of U.S. 85 (I-25) from Cerrillos Road to Algodones.
Leave the central part of Santa Fe along Alameda St., Sandoval St. and then Cerrillos Rd. Cross US 84, keep SW, the road becomes NM-14. Get on I-25 at Exit 278.
At Exit 259 you can take a side trip to visit Santo Domingo..
The 1926- 1937 alignment
Leave I-25 at Exit 248 and take a right and then a left along Camino Real Pan American Central Hwy or NM-313, and follow it south all the way into Albuquerque.
At Sandia Pueblo the highway merges with NM-556 at a roundabout. Head west along NM556, it becomes 4th St. NW. At Lomas Blvd., 4th St. changes direction so follow 5th until meeting the other alignment of US 66 on Central Ave.
To the south of Albuquerque and west, there were two alignments of Route 66: West and south of Albuquerque.
National and State Parks
Full details on the parks in the area at our Santa Fe page:
William E. Connelley, War with Mexico, 1846-1847: Doniphan's Expedition and the Conquest of New Mexico and California. Heritage Books
Original artwork by A. Whittall based on Google Street View Imagery.
Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api Updated Dec. 31, 2014.
Robert Julyan. 1996, The Place Names of New Mexico, UNM Press.