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Edgewood

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Where the Mountains Meet the Plains

Edgewood is where the forested mountains meet the plains; visit its Red Top Valentine Diner which is in the Wildlife West Nature Park (with animals and plants of the local ecosystem). Stop at the Ghost Town of Barton, with its Conoco Service Station and drive the ancient trails of the Salt Missions Scenic Byway.

Edgewood NM

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About Edgewood, New Mexico

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 6,700 ft (2.000 m). Population: 3,735 (2010).
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6).

Edgewood is a town in Santa Fe County, which ovelaps into neighboring Bernalillo and Torrance counties, New Mexico. It is located on the eastern slope of the Sandia Range, along to Route 66's 1937 alignment. Its motto is: "Where the Mountains Meet the Plains"

This area has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years (the nearby archaeological sites at Sandia Cave and Clovis has some of America's oldest stone tools).

Red Top Valentine Diner at Edgewood

Route 66 Red Top Valentine Diner at Edgewood, NM
Red Top Valentine Diner at Edgewood NM.
A. Whittall
Click on the image for a street view (2012) of the diner at its former location.

The trail from the high desert that headed up into the Tijeras Canyon from the east, was very ancient and had been used by the Native Americans who peopled the area for thousands of years. Later, after the mid 1500s, the Spanish explorers used the natural divide in the Sandia Range to link the Rio Grande valley with Lake Estancia to the west.

After the Mexican - American War (1846-48), the U.S. incorporated the area as the Territory of New Mexico and settlers began arriving from the East. The old wagon trail from Santa Rosa passed by here.

Although many homesteaders had set up their ranches in the area, the town was founded in the early 1930s in the southern part of Santa Fe county. Many of the "founding families" still live in the area.

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 to Moriarty.
Note that "Edgewood" was named "Venus" in those days.

A 1927 map of Route 66, New Mexico
Detail of a 1927 Map of Route 66 in NM, note the location of Venus, now Edgewood, NM
By

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.

Its first name was Venus and it appears under this name in a Rand McNally map published in 1927 (see above). At that time US Highway 470 linked it with Albuquerque and Moriarty, unpaved east of Tijeras. Later Route 66 would be aligned along it.

It then took the name of "Mountain View" which is appropriate considering its location, but it was short-lived. It was renamed as "New Barton", after the nearby town of Barton. But finally it was named Edgewood, and the name stuck.

Edgewood, the name

The name is due to its location, on the "edge" of the "woods", as it is on the slopes of the wooded foothills of Sandia Range, where they meet the grasslands of the high desert.

The timing was perfect because in 1937 Route 66 was opened from Santa Rosa to Moriarty and onwards through Edgewood all the way to Albuquerque, bypassing Santa Fe and funnelling the traffic through the new community.

Soon garages, diners and service stations appeared to cater to the travellers. The town, spread out along the highway, prospered. And by 1946, Jack DeVere Rittenhouse described it as having cafes, gasoline but no lodging. He also mentioned that it was a shipping point for pinto beans.

It incorporated in 1999, becoming the Town of Edgewood and its boundaries overlap into Bernalillo and Torrance counties. Although it is part of Santa Fe county, it is closer to Albuquerque (20 miles vs. 51 mi.) and is home to many commuters who work in Albuquerque. Its population duplicated between 2000 and 2010.

Where to Stay

There is lodging along Route 66 close to Edgewood:

>> Book your Hotels in Motels and Hotels in Moriarty or in Albuqerque, both are close to Edgewood.

Lodging Near Edgewood along Route 66

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The Santa Fe Route 66 segment
Book your Route 66 hotel now
Book your Hotel along Route 66

>> There are RV campgrounds in Edgewood and also nearby.

Weather in Edgewood

Edgewood is located on the edge of the high desert, in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo - Sandia Mountains. Although dry, the area is cooler than the lower regions to the east. On average 13 in. of rain (330 mm) fall per year during an average of 58 days with precipitation. The highest takes place during summer from July to October. Snow averages around 25 inches (63.5 cm) and falls between October and April.

Summer is hot but during the temperature drops during the night (influenced by the higher altitude). Winters are quite cold.

The average high temperature in Summer (Jul.) is 87°F (30.5°C), while the average low is 54.5°F (12.5°C).

The winter average high temperature (Jan) is 44°F (6.7°C) and the average low is 15°F (-9.4°C).

There are around 274 sunny days per year.

Tornado risk

Edgewood is located in an area with virtually no tornado risk: Santa Fe County has no Tornado watches.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
 

Route 66 and Edgewood, NM
Location of Edgewood, Route 66

Getting to Edgewood

Edgewood is 189 miles from the Texas - New Mexico State Line and 190 miles from the Arizona - NM border, roughly half-way point of Route 66 in New Mexico.

Heading west from Edgewood along route 66 is the town of Tijeras (13 mi.) and Albuquerque (29 miles), further west is Gallup (168 mi.)

To the north of Edgewood, on the Santa Fe loop of Route 66 is Santa Fe (61 mi.)

To the east is Moriarty, only 10 miles away, Clines Corners (31 mi.), Santa Rosa (87 mi.), and further east, Tucumcari (147 mi) followed by San Jon (171 mi.) and Glenrio (189 mi.) on the Texas - New Mexico state line.

Map of Edgewood and Route66

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

  Click to See the "Santa Fe" alignment of Route 66

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Google Maps. Terms. Icons.

Route 66 itinerary through Edgewood

Route 66 logo

Route 66 in New Mexico

Click to read the Full description of Route 66 across New Mexico.

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.

Below is full information on Route 66's 1926 alignment in Edgewood.

Edgewood, New Mexico: Attractions & Sights

Things to Do and See

Edgewood its Attractions

Where the forest meets the plains....

Edgewood has the vintage Red Top Valentine Diner (now at the Wildlife West Nature Park -which protects many local plants and animals). Don't miss the Ghost Town of Barton with the remains of the Conoco Service Station and to a side trip to drive along the Salt Missions Scenic Byway.

Outdoor fun

Wildlife West Nature Park

87 North Frontage Road, Edgewood, NM. (I-40 Exit 187)

Their website: www.wildlifewest.org. Phone: (505) 281-7655.

This non-profit organization is a wildlife preserve that focuses on plants and animals native to the ecosystems of the Southwestern U.S. and of course, New Mexico.

You can see bobcats, whitetail deer, puma, wolves and coyotes among other animals in a 122 acre park.

Ghost Town of Barton

Heading west along Old Route 66 is the town that preceded Edgewood, but now is a memory...

Barton

Elevation 6,820 ft (2.080 m). Pop. n⁄a.

Located in Bernalillo County, the now "Ghost town" of Barton is about 3 miles west of Edgewood.

A post office opened here in 1908 and adopted the name of an early settler. The post office moved to Edgewood in 1936. It was described by the 1946 Route 66 guide of Jack DeVere Rittenhouse as having gas, a grocery store and some cabins. Now it has some scattered homes and sheds along the road.

The interesting sight is the former Conoco Service Station, of which some old gas pumps still remain; see the Street View and Map of the old gas station.

The road rises as you head west out of Barton towards Tijeras, reaching an altitude of over 7,000 feet.

The Valentine Diner at Edgewood

Now inside the Wildlife West Nature Park Edgewood, NM.

This Aristocrat model Valentine diner (See image above) once stood at the RV Park in Edgewood, but it moved to a safer location inside the Wildlife West Nature Park after being vandalized. Now you can't see it from the highway.

It was originally located in Magdalena, NM and was moved to Edgewood by Jerry Ueckert, who bought it. The diner was one of at least 2,000 diners built by the Valentine Manufacturing Company of Wichita, Kansas.

Arthur Valentine (1891 - 1954) invented them and began producing them in 1947. They were movable diners that came in different sizes and models. The Aristocrat had eight seats. The company gradually lost business in the 1960s and folded in 1975, the fast food chains and suburbia had displaced the small diners.

Tours & Itineraries

Nearby Route 66 Towns

Edgewood has very nice views of the forests on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains where they merge with the plains, on the edge of New Mexico's high desert.

Apart from the side trips mentioned further down, you can visit, to the east, the towns of Moriarty and Santa Rosa.

To the west are Tijeras and Albuquerque.

The original 1926 alignment of Route 66 lies to the north and you can reach it via Santa Fe.

Some Side Trips

Salt Missions Scenic Byway

This is a circuit of 116 miles (roughly 2.5 hours of driving). See the Map of the Circuit.

The Salt Missions Scenic Byway follows ancient trails and trade routes that run from Tijeras in the mountains, to the plains.

From Edgewood, head west along Old Route 66 (NM-333) until reaching Moriarty where you must take a right and head south along NM-41. Go through the town of McIntosh and reach Estancia, which was an ancient Native American campsite with a spring and abundant water, ideal in a desert setting.

The next town is Mountainair, founded in 1902; visit the Shaffer Hotel or Rancho Bonito. From here you can take some side trips to visit ancient "pueblos" belonging to the Salinas Pueblos Missions National Monument:

The Abo ruins (9 mi. along US-60, west), Quarai (8 mi. north alog NM-55) and Gran Quivira (25 mi. south on NM-55). Full information at the visitors' center in Mountainair.

These pueblos traded salt (from the salt flats of Lake Estancia), squash, cotton and corn. You can also visit the remains of Spanish Mission churches in these pueblos, which were built in the 1600s.

From Mountainair the road heads north (NM-55 and later NM-337) passing through the towns of Manzano (Visit the Manzano Mountains State Park), Tajique, Chilili, Escobosa, and Yrisarri. Make a point of stopping to see their catholic churches.

The road then enters Cibola National Forest south of Tijeras (which is a great spot for hiking, camping or a picnic). At Tijeras, on Route 66, head east via the Old Route 66, which is aligned along the trail used by Apaches to raid the Spanish settlements on the Rio Grande. The circuit ends at Edgewood.

The Old alignment of Route 66 near Edgewood

route 66 shield New Mexico

Moriarty to Edgewood along Old Route 66

Route 66 from Moriarty to Edgewood, NM.

The historic 1926 alignment of Route 66 is located to the north of Moriarty, as it followed an ample curve which headed towards Las Vegas, NM and Santa Fe. From there it headed southwards, to Albuquerque.

The "Santa Fe cut-off" shortened the road with a direct alignment from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque. This section was completed in 1937.

The 1937 road left what is now Moriarty (in those days the road passed through the town of Buford located just to the north of Moriarty, and absorbed by it in 1953).

The original 1937 road can be driven westwards from Moriarty, by taking I-40 Bus. Loop west (Old Route 66). When reaching the access to I-40 at Exit 194, turn to the left and then take another right, to continue westwards along NM-333, which runs on the south side of I-40.

After 10 miles you will have reached Edgewood.

See the Map of this segment of Route 66.

> > See the previous segment Clines Corner to Moriarty (to the east) and the next one Edgewood to Tijeras (to the west).

National and State Parks

Cibola National Forest

11776 Highway 337, Tijeras NM. (505) 281-3304. Official Website

The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands spans several locations covering 1.6 million acres in New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma.

The areas nearest to Edgewood are the Sandia (described in our page on Tijeras), and the Mountainair Ranger Districts. Further west, between Albuquerque and Gallup is the Mt. Taylor Ranger District.

Manzano Mountains State Park

The park is 48 miles southwest of Edgewood (Map with directions).

Contact: Website.

A great place for hiking, birding, wildlife viewing and camping in the forests at the foothills of the Manzanos. There is a campground and RV Park.

Outdoors

Visit the Wildlife West Nature Park Edgewood.

Sources

Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, 1946, A guide to Highway 66

Robert Julyan. 1996, The Place Names of New Mexico, UNM Press.

Town website www.edgewood-nm.gov

Map by Rand McNally, 1927 detail from David Rumsey Historical Map Collection, under Fair usage and its BY-NC-SA 3.0, License.

Valentine Diners.

Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api Updated Dec. 31, 2014.

Original artwork by A. Whittall based on Google Street View Imagery.

Image by Vítězslav Válka adapted under its CC BY-SA 3.0 CZ License

Map Icons by Nicolas Mollet under its CC BY SA 3.0 License