About Peralta, New Mexico
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 4,859 ft (1,481 m). Population: 3,750 (2014).
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6).
Peralta is the a town in Bernalillo County, NM on the Rio Grande. See this Map of Peralta.
People have been living in this region for more than 10,000 years. And during the 1300s, the Tiwa people settled in the valley of the Rio Grande.
The Spaniards reached the area in their search for more "Cities of Gold" in 1540: Francisco Vásquez de Coronado was the first European in the area. He named the natives "Pueblo", after the Spanish word for "village".
But only half a century later dit the Spanish settle the area. They founded Santa Fe in the early 1600s and began the conversion of the Pueblo people to Catholicism.
The natives were opressed and exploited by the conquerors and they rose in rebellion in 1680, razing the towns and pueblos. The Spanish fled but returned in 1692, defeated the natives subduing them and re-established their colony. Albuquerque was founded in 1706 as a key stopover on the Camino Real (Royal Road) that ran south into Mexico, and passed by what today is Peralta.
Origin of the name Peralta
Peralta is a Spanish surname, and was the name of Pedro de Peralta, governor of the territory who founded Santa Fe in 1610. It derives from the Latin "petra alta" or "high stone - high cliff".
After Mexico won its independence from Spain, it gained Nueva Mexico but had to cede it to the U.S. after its defeat in the Mexican - American War (1846-48).
It was the site of the American Civil War skirmish known as the "Battle of Peralta" during the campaign of Confederate General Henry Hopkins Sibley in 1862.
Route 66 was aligned through the town in 1926, but in 1931 the highway moved out, to the western bank of the Rio Grande, bypassing Peralta. The town incorporated in 2007.
Where to Stay
There is lodging along Route 66 in Peralta:
>> Book your Hotels nearby, in Los Lunas
Lodging Near Peralta along Route 66
- 6 miles Isleta
- 22 miles Albuquerque
- 61 miles Moriarty
- 138 miles Santa Rosa motels
- 198 miles Tucumcari
The Santa Fe Route 66 segment
Accommodation Search box:
>> There are RV campgrounds nearby, in Albuquerque.
Weather in Peralta
Peralta has a sunny (278 sunny days per year) and very dry (very low relative humidity) climate.
The high elevation and the dry air provoke large swings between day and night temperatures, even in summer.
Peralta's average High ⁄ Low Temperatures during summer (Jul.) are: 92 ⁄ and 65 °F (33 ⁄ 18 °C). The average during winter (Jan) are: 47 ⁄ and 24 °F (8 ⁄ -4 °C)
Summers are hot and winters are relatively cold. Rainfall tends to fall during the summer monsoon season (July through September), and adds up to about 11 in. per year (279 mm). Shielded by mountains to the east, snowfall is quite low: about 10 inches (25 cm) per year.
The tornado risk in Peralta is nil: Bernalillo County has no Tornado watches.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Getting to Peralta
Use the 1930s US 66 which now is NM-314 and NM-6, from the Interstate I-25 (with US 85), take Exit 203 at Las Lunas and head east into Peralta. To the north is the later US-66 and I-40.
Map of Route 66 through Peralta
Pale Blue: Historic Route 66 alignment after 1937 from Mesita to ABQ and west to present US84.
Red line: I-40 & where it overlaps the old alignment.
Green: The 1926 - 1937 alignment just west of Peralta (click button to see it).
Display Peralta Route 66 MapClick for Map to appear below
Route 66 drive through Peralta
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 which describes the complete 1926 to 1937 alignment of Route 66 from Santa Rosa to Peralta through Pecos, Santa Fe and Bernalillo.
Peralta is also on this alignment, south of Albuquerque, which was also replaced in 1937 by the "Laguna Cutoff" which moved US66 north between Albuquerque and Mesita, bypassing Los Lunas and Isleta.
Below is full information on Route 66's 1926 alignment in Peralta.
Peralta, New Mexico: Attractions & Sights
Peralta its Attractions
Drive into Peralta from the north, heading across the Rio Grande from Isleta along NM-47.
Peralta was on Route 66 for only five years, from 1926 to 1931. After that date and until 1937 US 66 ran on the other side of the Rio Grande, from Isleta to Los Lunas.
Most of the agricultural area around Peralta, Isleta Pueblo and Los Lunas has been lost because the "non-reservation" area was developed and urbanized. Farms were replaced by malls and commercial buildings.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
3674 Hwy 47, Peralta
The parish church of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) is young by the Rio Grande Valley standards because it is shy of 140 years old, built in 1879.
It is a historic site like the Sangre de Cristo church in neighboring Valencia.
Historic Our Lady of Guadalupe church in Peralta, NM
This ends your tour of Peralta. Continue south and turn west along NM-6 (This was the old US 66) across the river into Los Lunas.
Route 66 in Peralta
From Isleta to Peralta
It is a short drive from Isleta (5.6 mi); see this: Map with directions Isleta to Peralta.
And another 4.2 miles to Los Lunas (Map with directions Peralta to Los Lunas.
The 1926 to 1931aligment of Route 66 through Isleta
When Route 66 was created in 1926 it left Albuquerque through Barelas crossing the Rio Grande River along the Barela Bridge and heading south through Armijo and Isleta. Here it crossed the river a second time turning south again and passing through Peralta.
It kept on southbund and once again, for the third time, crossed the Rio Grande into Los Lunas.
Then it went west leaving the Rio Grande Valley. It reached Suwanee and from there it went on to Laguna through Mesita./p>
It is 53.4 miles from Albuquerque to Suwanee through Peralta as you can see in this Map with directions.
The map below published in 1927 shows this "original" alignment which paved up to Isleta and improved from there westwards through Peralta and Los Lunas. It also coincided with the National Old Trails highway:
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.
1931 realignment: Peralta bypassed
By 1928 Route 66 had been paved and in 1931 it was then realigned along the west side of the Rio Grande avoiding the two extra river crossings south of Albuquerque's Barelas Bridge. Peralta and what now is NM-47 were bypassed.
The 1937 Laguna Cut-Off
But this whole segment south of Albuquerque had its days counted: a new bridge was built across the Rio Grande just west of Old Town of Albuquerque in 1931 and another one was built across the Rio Puerco west of Albuquerque in 1933. When a new road was built from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque through Moriarty, cutting of Santa Fe in 1937, the highway from Suwanee to Albuquerque was completed, it was known as the "Laguna Cut-Off".
This Laguna Cut-Off" linked the Laguna Mission Village with Albuquerque via Mesita and Suwanee, bypassing Los Lunas and Isleta.
See this map of the shorter "Laguna Cut-off" alignment (33.2 miles long): Map with directions.
For more details on the northern section: the 1926 - 1937 Alignment of Route 66 through Santa Fe, read about the The Santa Fe Loop which covers the old US 66 between Santa Rosa and Albuquerque.
> > See the previous segment (Main 66) Albuquerque to Isleta.
> > See the next segment (1926 US 66)Isleta to Los Lunas.
Robert Julyan. 1996, The Place Names of New Mexico, UNM Press.
Banner image: Dead Man's Curve, Laguna New Mexico by Perla Eichenblat.