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Fading away: a Ghost Town

Cuervo almost a ghost town, with a few scattered houses and a century old Catholic Church. It is set on the historic segment of Route 66 that links Tucumcari with Santa Rosa.

Cuervo NM

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About Cuervo, New Mexico

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: Elevation4,859 ft (1,481 m). Population: n⁄a (2010).
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6).

Cuervo (pronounce "Cuhr-voh" by the locals), is a very small village in Guadalupe County, N. Mexico (an unincorporated community).

This part of New Mexico has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years as attested by stone tools found at the Clovis Site not too far from Cuervo.

This area was explored by the Spanish (Coronado's expedition passed by Cuervo in the mid 1500s). The area was later incoprorated into their American colonies as "Nueva México", which was governed from Santa Fe (NM). However Cuervo was not settled; and the local Querecho Apaches natives lived as they had done for generations.

After Mexican Independence from Spain, the land passed to Mexico, but lost it after being defeated during the Mexican - American War (1846 - 48): the territory became part of the U.S. as New Mexico. The U.S. Army pacified the Kiowa, Kiowa Apache and Comanche natives allowing settlement in the mid-1870s.

The town was founded when the CRI&G Railroad (Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railroad) reached it as it expanded its tracks westwards from Texas towards Arizona. The railroad siding was built in 1902 and named "Cuervo". The post office was opened that same year.

Catholic Church Cuervo, built 100 years ago.

Catholic Church, Cuervo, New Mexico
Catholic Church in Cuervo NM.. Click on image for street view

The name: Cuervo

"Cuervo" is the Spanish word for crow and probably originated from one of two hills located close to it: Cuervo Hill (5,366 ft.) 9 m. northwest of the town or Cuervito Peak -Cuervito is Spanish for "Small Crow" (4,984 ft.) located just 1 mi. northwest of the village.

It was a small rural community in a ranching district, but the trains stopped stopping there in 1910, which drew trade to nearby Santa Rosa. However when Route 66 was aligned through it in 1926 it added some gas stations and stores to cater to the travellers. The town grew and had a couple of churches (still standing).

After World War II, Jack Rittenhouse in his 1946 "A Guide to Highway 66" describes it as follows: "(Pop. 128... few gas stations; groceries; no cafe, garage or other tourist accommodations) A scant dozen dwellings comprise this small town...".

The Interstate highway system which was created in 1956 would reach Cuervo in the late 1960s and deliver a blow to its moribound economy. Interstate 40 was built right through the middle of Cuervo and traffic zipped passed, not stopping there any longer.

Now it is a scattering of houses and, the two churches.

Where to Stay

Cuervo does not have any accommodation but there are several hotels in other major towns that are close to it:

>> Book your Hotel nearby Tucumcari (51 mi. east)
or in Santa Rosa (21 mi. west)

Lodging Near Cuervo along Route 66

Further east, in Texas:

The Santa Fe Route 66 segment

Book your Route 66 hotel now
Book your Hotel along Route 66

>> There are RV campgrounds close to Cuervo.

Weather in Cuervo

Weather widget for the town nearest Cuervo:

Latest weather in Cuervo, NM
Cuervo, New Mexico its location map on Route 66
Location of Cuervo on Route 66

Cuervo is located in a semiarid area with around 15 inches (381 mm) of rainfall per year. Summer is hot but during the night, the temperature falls. Winters are cool.

There are approximately 266 sunny days per year and around 40 days with precipitation. Rainfall is higher during the summer with intense downpours: Between May and the end of August around 9.4 in. of rain falls (239 mm).

Snowfall is quite moderate with around 8.4 inches of snow (21.4 cm). You may encounter snow at any time between Sept. and May

Average high temperature in summer (July) is about 93°F (34°C). In winter (Jan) the high is 53°F (12°C). The average summer low is around 64°F (18°C) and the winter low is 23°F (-5°C).

Tornado risk

Cuervo is located in an area with almost no tornado risk: it only has two (2) Tornado watches per year.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.

Getting to Cuervo

Heading west from Cuervo down Route 66 is the town of Santa Rosa (18 mi.), and further west are Albuquerque (134 miles) and Gallup (273 mi.) close to Arizona.

At Clines Corner you can head north along the Santa Fe loop of Route 66 to Santa Fe.

To the east, lies Newkirk (9 mi.), Montoya (20 mi.), Tucumcari (42 mi), San Jon (84 mi.) , and on the New Mexico - Texas state line is Glenrio (84 mi.), and further east, in Texas is Amarillo (157 mi.).

Map U.S. 66 in Cuervo New Mexico

Display Cuervo Route 66 Map

  Click Map will appear below
 Click for US66 "Santa Fe alignment map"

This map shows the alignment of Route 66 in Cuervo. The color key for this town is:
(for the other towns, check their maps - color keys may change)

Pale Blue: Historic Route 66 alignment.
Red line: I-40 & where it overlaps the old alignment.
Green: The 1926 - 1937 alignment through Santa Fe (click button to see it).

Google Maps. Terms. Nicolas Mollet, CC BY SA 3.0 License

Route 66's alignment in New Mexico: the Historic Route 66 through Cuervo

Route 66 logo

Route 66 across 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 this town.

Cuervo: its Attractions

Landmarks, Route 66 sights

Cuervo, its Attractions

Ghost Town

Cuervo is almost a ghost town, with a few scattered homes and some abandoned buildings along Historic Route 66. The catholic church was built one century ago during World War I (1914-1918) in sandstone. It is pictured above.

The old 1926 dirt surfaced Route 66 west of Cuervo

1926 Route 66 alignment, Cuervo, New Mexico
The 1926 Route 66 alignment in Cuervo NM. Notice the "Dead End" sign. Click on image for Street View

Tours & Itineraries

Nearby Route 66 Towns

Visit, to the east, the nearby towns: Newkirk, Montoya (A ghost town), Tucumcari, San Jon and Glenrio (on the Texas state line).

To the west is Santa Rosa and Clines Corner.

The Old alignment of Route 66 near Cuervo

route 66 shield New Mexico

Newkirk to Cuervo Historic Route 66

Route 66, Cuervo, NM.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

This is the historic segment of Route 66 from Newkirk to Cuervo and on to Santa Rosa. We describe it in our Santa Rosa page: Route 66 from Newkirk to Santa Rosa, which includes the Cuervo segment.

> > See the previous segment Montoya to Newkirk (to the east)

> > And the next one Santa Rosa to Clines Corner (to the west).

National and State Parks

See full details of nearby parks Parks close to Tucumcari and Parks close to Santa Rosa, all of them close to Cuervo.


Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, 1946, A guide to Highway 66

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

Banner image: The Dead Man's Curve, Laguna, NM by Perla S. Eichenblat.