About Dilia, New Mexico
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: Elevation: 5,240 ft (1.598 m). Population: n⁄a.
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6).
Dilia is a small community located on the junction of NM-119 and US-84 in Guadalupe county. It is the easternmost of a series of farming communities that employ the water of the Pecos River for their farm land. It is on the northern edge of Guadalupe County.
People have lived in this part of New Mexico for at least 10,000 years, the Pecos River was a main route linking the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the north with the plains and the Llano Estacado in the southeast, the Pecos Trail.
Ruins of adobe building in Dilia, New Mexico
The area was explored by the Spanish expedition led by Coronado, who passed through Pecos (north of Dilia) and Santa Rosa (south) in 1540. New Mexico became a part of the Spanish colonial territories in America in 1598. However there was no settlement in this area at that time. The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 expelled the Spaniards who returned and reconquered the region in 1693.
Their easternmost outpost was Pecos Pueblo, and that village was subjected to the constant raids of the Apache and Comanche warriors of the plains. Later settlement attempts further north in the early 1800s were short lived.
The other towns that extend towards the northwest of modern Dilia along the Pecos River and are Tecolotito, Anton Chico and La Loma; they originated in a land grant of the 1820s, but they too were abandoned until the 1850s.
After Mexico became independent from Spain, it received New Mexico (1821) but later lost it to the U.S. after being defeated during the Mexican - American War (1846 - 48).
The River flows through Dilia and has been a route since prehistoric times. To the north, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Santa Fe are the river's headwaters of the river at over 12,000 ft. (3.700 m). To the south is the Rio Grande which the Pecos reaches after flowing for 926 miles (1.490 km). It drains a vast area of almost 45,000 sq. mi. (115.000 km2).
After the war, the region became the US Territory of New Mexico and the U.S. Army pacified the Kiowa, Kiowa Apache and Comanche natives allowing settlement in the mid-1850s.
There was a post office here between 1911 and 1968 when it moved to La Loma. It was also known as "Vado de Juan Paiz" or Juan Paiz's ford -across the Pecos River.
The Name: Dilia
It is supposedly named after the daugher of one of its first settlers. Perhaps a corruption of Delia.
Route 66 was aligned through the town in 1926. But it was such a small community that it does not appear on the 1927 Road Map printed by Rand McNally. (Anton Chico is the only town in the area).
After 1937, Route 66 was realigned along a shorter course from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque through Moriarty and the road through Dilia became US 84.
Where to Stay
There are lodging options for those travelling along Route 66 in some nearby towns
>> Book your Hotels in nearby Santa Rosa
Lodging Near Dilia along Route 66
Heading South and east ...
West along the later Route 66 alignment
>> There are RV campgrounds in Dilia at Santa Rosa.
Weather in Dilia
Weather widget for the town nearest Dilia:
Dilia is located in a very dry area with about 15 inches (381 mm) of rainfall per year. Summer is hot but during the temperature drops during the night. Winters are cool.
Rainfall is higher during the summer with intense downpours: Between May and the end of Sept. around 9.5 in. of rain falls (241 mm).
Snowfall is moderate with an average of 13 inches of snow (33 cm). You may encounter snow at any time between Sept. and May but most (10 in. falls from Dec. to Feb.)
Average high temperature in summer (July) is about 92°F (33.3°C). In winter (Jan) the high is 54°F (12.s°C). The average low in summer is 61°F (16.1°C) and the winter low is below freezing, at 24°F (-4.4°C).
Dilia is located in an area with virtually no tornado risk: Guadalupe county only has two (2) Tornado watches per year.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Map of Route 66 through Dilia New Mexico
See the alignment of US 66 in this location, on our New Mexico Route 66 Map, it has the complete alignment across the state with all the towns along it.
Accommodation Search box:
Route 66's alignment in New Mexico: the Historic Route 66 through Dilia
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.
Dilia: its Attractions
Landmarks, Route 66 sights
Getting to Dilia
Dilia, its Attractions
Tiny rural community on the Old Pecos Trail
Dilia is a small village on the 1926 to 1937 alignment of Route 66 between Santa Rosa and Santa Fe. Visit its church.
Old Pecos Trail
It was never a formal trail like the Santa Fe Trail, its first part, linking Santa Fe and Pecos was part of the Santa Fe Trail and well marked. To the south, it was a path mostly unfit for wagons, that ran along the Pecos River valley linking some small villages on the way, to Puerto de Luna, south of Santa Rosa.
Sacred Heart Church
The Sagrado Corazón church is very close to US-84; take a left along NM-119 to reach it. It was built in 1900.
Sacred Heart Church at Dilia, NM
Tours & Itineraries
Aurupa Archaeological Site
The Pueblo people built some small settlements along the Pecos River, one of them is at Aurupa (Map with location, which can be reached by driving to it, 3.3 miles to the west of US 84. See the Map with Directions
The Pecos River was a main trade route between the Pueblos and the Natives of the Plains.
Etiquette at an Archaeological Site
Leave no trace, only take photographs. Remember that cultural sites are degraded by unintentional damage caused by visitors. View from a distance to reduce impact. Leave artifacts where they lie (potsherds, flints). Don't move rocks, branches. Don't touch plaster walls. Don't touch rock art. Don't climb on walls or roofs. Pets should not enter archaeological sites.
Archaeological sites are protected by local, federal and state laws and they provide for prosecution with fines and⁄or imprisonment of violators.
Nearby Route 66 Towns
The 1926 to 1937 alignment of Route 66 near Dilia
From Santa Rosa to Dilia
Leave the town of Santa Rosa westwards and then head north (U.S. 84), cross to the north side of I-40 at Exit 273 to head westwards along the Interstate.
The 1926 to 1932 alignment
After 7 miles at Exit 267 (119 miles), to the north, is NM 379, the original 1926 alignment of the Ozark Trail towards Romeroville, Las Vegas NM and Santa Fe. This road is shown in the following Map.
The 1932 to 1937 alignment
Later the road was realigned in the 1930s following NM state highway 6 westwards from this point and then taking a northern course towards Dilia. The old NM-6 and Route 66 are now gone as I-40 runs along the original roadbed. So head west along I-40 and leave the interstate at Exit 256, (18 miles). Head north along NM 219 and US. 84. This is the 1930s alignment of Route 66 towards Dilia.
This Map shows the 1932-37 Route 66 to Dilia.
From Dilia to Romeroville
The 1926 - 1937 alignment is now part of US 84 almost all the way to Romeroville. Head north along it, from Dilia, passing by the access to the Aurupa Site and just before the junction with I-25 and US 85, take a right along "Camino Romeroville", into the small village.
See the map (Dilia to Romeroville). It shows the road into Romeroville and then eastwards along the old Route 66, (later US 85) and now NM-A25A. East of this point you will have to get onto US 85 ⁄ I-25 at exit 339 as the old road no longer exists.
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 and finally, 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 cut off Dilia from the Mother Road too.
Route 66 From Santa Rosa on the main alignment
> > See the previous segment Newkirk to Santa Rosa (to the south and east)
> > See the next one, the 1937 alignment from Santa Rosa to Clines Corner (to the south and west)
Route 66 east of Romeroville
The map is from the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection, under Fair usage and its BY-NC-SA 3.0, License. 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
Banner image: The Dead Man's Curve, Laguna, NM by Perla S. Eichenblat.
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, 1946, A guide to Highway 66
Robert Julyan. 1996, The Place Names of New Mexico, UNM Press.