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Route 66


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Route 66 in New Mexico from 1926 to 1937

Historic Battlefield

Glorieta is a small village on the Old Pecos Trail close to the Glorieta Pass Battlefield, the site of an American Civil War battle. It lies on the original 1926 alignment of Route 66 along the Santa Fe Trail in New Mexico.

Glorieta NM

Some towns along the Main Route 66 alignment
Gallup ¦ Albuquerque ¦ Santa Rosa ¦ Tucumcari

The 1926 - 1937 Alignment of Route 66 through Santa Fe (The Santa Fe Loop)

< Head West
Algodones ¦ Santo Domingo ¦ Santa Fe

Head East >
Pecos ¦ Rowe ¦ Ilfeld


About Glorieta, New Mexico

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: Elevation: 7,431 ft (2,265 m), Population: 859 (2000).
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6).

Glorieta is a small populated area in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. It is located 5 miles west of Glorieta along NM-50 (former 1926 alignment of Route 66 between Glorieta and Santa Fe), and I-25, just to the south. The village is located at the point where the road takes a sharp turn and changes course from a NW to a SW alignment. See Map with location.

This area of New Mexico has been inhabited for over 10,000 years (the nearby site at Sandia Cave is proof of this). Later the Pueblo people settled in the valleys of the rivers that flowed from the Rocky Mountains.

The road across the mountain pass was used for trading.

As time goes by on Glorieta Pass: Pigeon Ranch through time

Pigeon Ranch in 1925, Glorieta Pass, NM
Pigeon Ranch, in 1925, Glorieta, NM
by Credits
Pigeon Ranch at Glorieta PAss, a 1940 postcard
Postcard of Pigeon Ranch, in 1940, Glorieta NM
Pigeon Ranch Today, Glorieta NM
Pigeon Ranch, Today, in Glorieta, NM
A. Whittall
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado explored the area, reaching neighbouring Pecos in 1540. The territory became part of the Spanish colonies in 1598. And although the Pueblo Revolt expelled the Spanish in 1680, they returned in 1692 and submitted the rebel natives.

The southern fork of the Santa Fe Trail passed through Las Vegas, Glorieta and, before reaching Santa Fe, crossed the southern tip of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains via Glorieta Pass it was also known here as the Old Pecos Trail.

Settlement in the area was slow and a formal land grant was approved in 1815 for the "Cañon de Pecos" which was awarded to Juan de Dios Peña.

In 1821 it became part of the territory of an independent Republic of Mexico. But Mexico ceded the territory to the U.S after being defeated during the Mexican - American War (1846 - 48).

Wagons with goods and settlers used this road and there was a stop just before the pass' summit,on its eastern side, at Pigeon Ranch, which belonged to Mr. Valle, who had settled there in the 1850s.

During the Civil War, the Confederate troops fought a battle with the Union forces in Glorieta (1862).

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway built its tracks along the Santa Fe Trail in the early 1880s and established a station there.

The name: Glorieta

There was a post office at the place known as "La Glorieta" from 1875 to 1880. After that it changed to "Glorieta" (dropping the article "La").

The word Glorieta has several meanings in Spanish, but the most appropriate seems to be that of a square or plaza where several roads meet; Glorieta was a main point which funnelled roads through a pass.

In 1926, Route 66 and US 85 were aligned through the Glorieta Pass. Route 66 was realigned further south in 1937, from Moriarty to Santa Rosa, and it bypassed all the towns along the Santa Fe Loop including Glorieta.

Accommodation near Glorieta

There are lodging options for those travelling along Route 66 in some nearby towns

>> Book your Hotels in nearby Las Vegas and Santa Fe.

Lodging Near Glorieta along Route 66

Heading East ...

Heading West....

West along the later Route 66 alignment
Book your Route 66 hotel now
Book your Hotel along Route 66

>> There are RV campgrounds near Glorieta

Weather in Glorieta

Glorieta has hot summers and cold winters, the area is quite arid and dry.

The average high in summer (July) is 86°F (30°C) and the average low is 53°F (11.7°C). During winter (Jan) the average high is 48°C (8.9°C) and the average low is 21°F (-6.1°C), below freezing point.

Snowfall is around 25 inches (63.5 in.) on average and can fall at any time between November and April. Most falling during Dec. and Jan (6 in. each) Rainfall is 17.2 in. per year (437 mm). The rainiest months are June through Sept. with almost 10 inches of rain.

Tornado risk

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

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.

Route 66 and Glorieta, NM
Location of Glorieta, Route 66

Getting to Glorieta

The village is located to the northwest of Santa Rosa along the 1926 to 1937 alignment of Route 66.

To the east is Pecos, Las Vegas, San Jose and Romeroville.

To the west, along the old Route 66 is the city of Santa Fe. To the southwest is Albuquerque wher the old and new alignments of Route 66 meet again.

Map of Glorieta Pass and Route-66

in New Mexico.

Pale Blue: Historic 1926 Route 66 alignment through Glorieta Pass; Red line:US 84 & I-25 where they overlap the old alignment.
Black: the rest of Route 66.

See more Route 66 maps:Map of Route 66 in Texas and Map of Route 66 in Arizona

Remove or restore State shading

Google Maps. Terms. Icons.

Route 66 itinerary through Glorieta

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)

Visit our Santa Fe Loop page for all the details on the 1926 to 1937 alignment of Route 66 from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque through Pecos, Santa Fe and Santo Domingo.

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

Glorieta, New Mexico: Attractions & Sights

Things to Do and See

Glorieta, its Attractions

Glorieta is a tiny village small town nestled between the Sange de Cristo Mountains which is best known for its American Civil War Battlefield that took place on the "Santa Fe Trail", which would later become the 1926 alignment of Route 66.

The Historic Santa Fe Trail

The Spanish settlers at Santa Fe opened the "Santa Fe Trail" in 1792 to link their city with the French trading posts in Louisiana, on the Missouri River.

Much later, the wagon trains used it to move merchandise to and from New Mexico. It was also on of the main t rails used by the settlers to reach the Southwest and the coast of the Pacific Ocean.

The southern fork of the Trail passed through Las Vegas, Bernal, San Jose, Pecos and crossed Glorieta Pass to reach Santa Fe.

Tours & Itineraries

Nearby Route 66 Towns

To the east, visit Pecos, Las Vegas and, further south, is Santa Rosa. Head west along the 1926 alignment of Route 66 to reach Santa Fe.

The Battle of Glorieta Pass

The westernmost battle of the American Civil War

Glorieta National Historical Park

New Mexico Historic Marker

On NM-50, 1 mi south of the village of Glorieta, is the Historical Marker, on the south side of the road. See Map showing marker site

The battle was fought from March 26 to 28, 1862 on a strategic pass accross the Southern Rockies between Glorieta and Santa Fe. Glorieta was the only point where the Rocky Mountains could be crossed south of Colorado, so it was the Confederate's bid to control the West. The historic Pigeon Ranch was a witness of the battle, and stands there today, next to the road.

Pigeon Ranch

Above are some Potos of Pigeon Ranch.

Just 0.4 mi. to the east of the Battlefield Marker, on the north side of the road.

The old building is what remains of Old Pigeon's Ranch. Which was also a stage coach stop on the Santa Fe Trail. The adobe structure is a one story building with three rooms and a gabled roof. It is 48 feet long and almost 18 feet wide.

The Ranch was the property of Alexander Valle who was born in St. Louis ca. 1815 and although it is said that he was popularly known as "Pigeon" due to his pronounciation in "Pidgin English" with a strong French accent ("Government manns vas at my ranch and fill is cahnteen viz my viskey..."), it was actually his mother's second husband's name: "Pigeon of Carondelet".

By 1850 he was operating a frontier store in Santa Fe and obtained a grant confirmed by Congress in Glorieta (1865) where he lived until his death in 1880. He sold his ranch to George Herbert in 1865. In 1926 a Glorieta cowboy, Thomas Greer acquired the place and seeing the flow of travellers along Route 66 converted it into a roadside attraction with a museum, curio shop, garage and service station. When Route 66 was relocated to the south in 1937 (Santa Fe cut-off) business declined and World War II travel restrictions led to its demise. When us 85 was realigned, it was abandoned.

In 1990 the property was added to the Glorieta National Historic Place and in 1992 the National Park Service acquires Pigeon's Ranch house.

Confederate Brig. General Henry Sibley advanced with his men, "Sibley's Brigade" from San Antonio in Texas into New Mexico and occupied Albuquerque on March 2 and Santa Fe on March 10, 1862. Silbey decided to advance east and strike at Fort Union (now a National Monument, north of Las Vegas, NM).

Ft. Union was strategic and controlled the Santa Fe Trail. Two columns of Sibley's men advanced towards Glorieta Pass on their way to Ft. Union, one was comanded by Major Pyron and marched from Santa Fe, the other under Col. Scurry marched from Albuquerque.

They believed that the Union soldiers had been left behind at Ft. Craig, but a column of Colorado troops under Colonel Slough had moved south to defend Fort Union, and were camped at Bernal Springs, east of Glorieta Pass.

Slough sent a column led by Maj. Chivington towards Santa Fe. They camped near Pecos and on March 26 reached Glorieta Pass and met the Confederates in Apache Canyon and forced them to regroup in the "First Skirmish of Apache Canyon". A second encounter took place later that day and the Confederates were routed. Their first defeat in New Mexico.

Pyron retreated and asked Scurry to send reinforcements. Chivington also requested assistance and moved back to Koslowski's Ranch (now Forked Lightning Ranch) south of Pecos, on the Pecos River.

On March 27 each side had received its reinforcements and they stood on the east (1,340 Union soldiers) and west (1,000 Confederates) side of Glorieta Pass.

Both forces advanced towards the pass on the 28th and met in a battle that lasted six hours. The action took place around Pigeon Ranch.

The official casualty list was 96 Confederates and 71 Unionists, but the losses were actually greater. The Confederates won the battle but a second skirmish that took place on the western side of the pass during which a detachment of Union troops destroyed the Confederate supply train. Having lost food, ammunition and blankets, Scurry rapidly retreated to Santa Fe, and abandoned New Mexico, having lost two thirds of his men in his failed attempt to conquer New Mexico.

The 1926 to 1937 alignment of Route 66 near Glorieta

route 66 shield New Mexico

Route 66 from Glorieta to Santa Fe

From Glorieta, get on I-25 to cross Glorieta Pass and reach Canoncito (Spanish for "Tiny Canyon"), where you should stop at the historical church:

Our Lady of Light - Nuestra Señora de Luz Church

The Nuestra Senora de Luz Church ("Our Lady of Light") and Cemetery was built in 1880. And is located 11.3 miles west of Pecos on the north frontage road, Canoncito 998 (Old Las Vegas Hwy.), see the Map and directions from Glorieta.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Historic Nuestra Señora de Luz Church, Santa Fe

Our Lady of Light, Nuestra Senora de Luz Church in Santa Fe, NM
Historic Nuestra Señora de Luz Church, Canoncito;
A. Whittall
Click on the image for a street view.

At this point you can follow the old Las Vegas road after Exit 294, which is the 1930s alignment all the way into Santa Fe, as shown in the following map: Canoncito to Santa Fe map.

The Santa Fe Cut-Off

NM 6 which linked Santa Rosa with Albuquerque via Moriarty was finished in 1927 but only later was it paved. In 1937 it was incorporated into the new alignment of Route 66 that "cut-off" Santa Fe, shortening the road and providing a quicker paved route to Albuquerque and the Pacific Coast. This alignment also cut off Pecos.

Route 66 on the main post 1937 alignment

> > See the previous segment Newkirk to Santa Rosa (to the south and east) and the next one, the 1937 alignment from Santa Rosa to Clines Corner (to the south and west).

Route 66 east of Glorieta

> > Route 66 Pecos to Glorieta and east of Pecos.

Old Route 66 west of Santa Fe

> > Route 66 Santa Fe to Albuquerque.

Route 66 1927 alignment from Santa Rosa to Santa Fe, NM
The 1927 alignment of Route 66 from Santa Rosa through Santa Fe. Glorieta figures on the map. 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.

National and State Parks

Check the Parks at Las Vegas and the Parks at Pecos.


Photo by John C. Howard. Courtesy Museum of New Mexico Neg. No. 51738, from Yvonne R. Oakes, Pigeon's Ranch and the Glorieta Battlefield, an Archaeological Assessment. Archaeology Notes 123 S. Fe, NM 1995. Under Fair Use

Postcard from eBay. Under Fair Use.

Pigeon's Ranch HSR, Part 1. NPS.

Guidebook of the Western United States: Part C - The Santa Fe Route, With a Side Trip to Grand Canyon of the Colorado, bulletin 613. Nelson Horatio Darton.

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

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

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