About Clines Corners, New Mexico
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: Elevation 7,057 ft (2,151 m). Population: n⁄a (2010).
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6).
Clines Corners, New Mexico is not a town or a village, it is an "unincorporated community" in central New Mexico, in Torrance County. It was established, and to this day still operates as a gasoline filling station, convenience store, cafe and diner. Read on for more information.
Vintage 1930s Postcard of Santa Rosa
One Yacht Club Drive, Clines Corners, NM. www.clinescorners.com. (575) 472-5488.
Clines Corners is located at Exit 218A north of I-40 at the junction of US Highway 285 and Interstate-40 (formerly Route 66)
Roy E. Cline set up his gasoline station and a café at the intersection of New Mexico highways 6 and 2. In those days they were the link between Moriarty and Santa Rosa (Hwy. 6) and Encino with Santa Fe (Hwy. 2). At that time Route 66 had a totally different alignment: it ran north towards Las Vegas and Santa Fe, in a wide arch between Santa Rosa and Albuquerque.
But politics and Route 66 paths crossed and the Mother Road was realigned to bypass Santa Fe:
Politics and U.S. 66
For 9 years (1926 - 1937) U.S. 66 followed this northern course through Santa Fe until a spiteful politician changed its course.
Governor A. T. Hannett lost his 1927 bid to re-election and annoyed with the local politicians and business men in Santa Fe, who he blamed for his defeat, he had the highway rerouted to bypass that city.
Running against the clock before his tenure ended, he had a 69 mi. stretch of state highway built while he held office, linking Santa Rosa with Moriarty and shaving off more than 90 miles off the road. The contemporary map below shows the new road as New Mexico state highway No. 6
But his "revenge" would have to wait for 10 more years until the Federal roadbuilders decided to straighten the road and shorten it, and they used Hannett's alignment to do so in 1937.
Detail of a 1927 Map of Route 66 showing Santa Rosa, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, the "loop through Santa Fe" and the shorter NM state Highway 6 through Clines Corners.
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 new Route 66 and US 285 were more or less aligned along NM-6 & NM-2 but not exactly. For this reason Cline moved his filling station and cafe to the new junction. He also persuaded map makers to put Cline's Corner on the map.
Only two years later, in 1939 Cline sold his property to S. Lynn Smith ("Smitty") who worked the place with his wife. However Cline did not retire; he opened another place east of Cline's Corners just east of Palma (see the Street View at Palma, looking north along NM-3), it offered travellers gasoline, a diner and a garage and was named "The Flying C".
The Smiths prospered and expanded their business. After Smitty's death in 1961 his wife Helen sold the concern. Cline sold his "Flying C Ranch" in 1963 to Claude M. Bowlin, who renamed it "Bowlin's Flying C Ranch".
Bowlin's Flying C Ranch
At I-40's Exit 234, on Wagon Wheel Rd. Encino, NM.
See its Map and Street View
A post office was added at Cline's Corner in 1964. By that time the Interstate system which had began in 1956 was modifying the highway network of America. Route 66's alignment was incorporated into I-40, and Cline's was in the right place, it adapted to the Intersate and expanded even more.
You will find not only a restaurant with a food court and filling sations, the place now covers 30,000 sq. ft. and has New Mexico's largest gift shop. There are also Convenience stores and a Truck Stop.
View of Clines Corner New Mexico, Route 66.
For a brief history of the region, check out our page with Santa Rosa's History.
Where to Stay
Clines Corners does not have any accommodation but the nearby towns of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Santa Rosa and Moriarty have plenty of lodging options for those travelling along Route 66:
Lodging Near Clines Corners along Route 66
The Santa Fe Route 66 segment
>> There are RV campgrounds near Clines Corner
Weather in Clines Corners
Weather widget for the town nearest Clines Corners:
Clines Corners is located in a very dry area with less than 15 inches (381 mm) of rainfall per year. Summers are quite hot (though it cools off during the night). Winters are cold.
Most rain falls in summer with intense downpours (from May to August). Snowfall is about 13 inches (33 cm), and can fall between Sept. and May.
Expect high temperatures in the 90s during summer (July) and mid 50s during winter (Jan.) - above 30°C and 10°C. The average lows are around 60°F (16°C) in summer and below freezing in winter 24°F (-4.4°C).
Clines Corners is located in an area with virtually no tornado risk: it only has one (1) Tornado watch per year.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Getting to Clines Corners
Clines Corners is 221 mi. from the Arizona - NM border. Heading west from Clines Corners down Route 66 is the town of Moriarty (21 mi.), and further west are Albuquerque (60 miles) and Gallup (199 mi.)
At Clines Corner you can head north along US-285 to Santa Fe (51 mi.)
Map of Clines Corners and Route66
Map of Clines Corners and Route 66 in New Mexico.
Pale Blue: Historic Route 66 alignment; Red line: I-40 & I-25 where they overlap the old alignment.
See Route 66's alignment in Texas
Remove or restore State shading
Route 66 itinerary to Clines Corners
Route 66 in New Mexico
Click to read the Full description of Route 66 across New Mexico.
Below we give information on Route 66's 1926 alignment near Clines Corner which is Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Santa Fe Loop (1926 - 1937)
Our Santa Fe Loop page describes the complete 1926 to 1937 alignment of Route 66 from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque through Pecos, Santa Fe and Bernalillo.
Clines Corners, New Mexico: Attractions & Sights
Things to Do and See
A good place to stop, fill the tank, have a bite and buy some southwestern souvenirs at the curio shop. Enjoy the New Mexican desert and Route 66.
Tours & Itineraries
Nearby Route 66 Towns
To the west is Moriarty.
The original alignment of Route 66 heads north to Santa Fe just west of Santa Rosa and east of Clines Corners.
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, 1946 in his book "A guide to Highway 66" mentions that 11 miles west of Clines Corner, along Route 66 was a Historical Marker signalling the trade route opened by Josiah Gregg in 1840 linking Fort Smith in Arkansas with Santa Fe.
Gregg (1806 - 1850) was an explorer, trader, merchant and naturalist who explored the region during his trading ventures. The trail was used after 1849, when the California Gold Rush drew a growing flow of travellers along it.
The Old alignment of Route 66 near Clines Corners
Santa Rosa to Clines Corners along Old Route 66
Route 66 - I-40 from Santa Rosa to Clines Corners, NM.
The original 1926 alignment west of Santa Rosa (mile zero) is now incorporated into US-84 northwards and then, after Exit 237, it is part of the roadbed of Interstate 40. And keeps on as part of it till reaching until its Exit 267 (18 miles), to the north, along NM 379 lies the original 1926 alignment to Albuquerque, the Santa Fe Loop, via Dilia, Pecos and Santa Fe, a dirt road which later was moved west, to the following exit (Exit 256) along what is now NM 219 and US. 84, following the early 1930s alignment to Santa Fe.
The later 1937 alignment that bypassed Santa Fe begins at this point. It is almost completely incorporated into I-40 all the way to Moriarty. The road reaches the intersection of US 285 (51 mi.) at Clines Corners.
Southwest of Clines Corners along U.S. 285, it is 158 miles to Roswell, of UFO fame, where a flying saucer with crew and all is said to have crash.
The Pedernal Highlands ("Pedernal" is the Spanish word for "flint") are located to 11 miles south of Clines Corner, east of Albuquerque, Moriarty and Estancia and west of US-285.
They are very ancient rocks dating back to the Precambrian Period (over 600 million years ago). They are heavily eroded and nowadays are a narrow plateau about 40 miles long and a few miles wide. Their highest poit is Pedernal Peak (7,576 ft. - 2.310 m), which rises about 800 ft. (245 m) above the surrounding terrain (location: 34.845295, -105.644546).
The natives used its tough rock to make their stone tools, spear & arrow heads. Many can still be found in the area. There are springs on the hill too, which made it a stopping place for early travellers.
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse wrote about it in his Route 66 travel guide because it can be spotted from Route 66 about 3 miles east of Clines Corners on the south side of the road: "Shortly west of here you can see a high peak in the distance [...] this is Cerro Pedernal" ("Cerro" is Spanish for Mount or Hill).
In the following Street View you can see Cerro Pedernal, in the center of the image, above the road, on the horizon.
Their website is www.clinescorners.com
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, 1946, A guide to Highway 66
Robert Julyan. 1996, The Place Names of New Mexico, UNM Press.
Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api Updated Dec. 31, 2014.