Historic Route 66
Part of the New Mexico Route 66 Association, Gallup has served as an important community for trade and commerce with the surrounding Native American communities since the late 1800’s. Gallup is one of the nine New Mexico cities that represent the state’s Route 66 Association. As you cruise Historic Route 66 in Gallup, you’ll find streets lined with pawn, trade and curio shops and historic buildings lining the Rio Puerco.
El Morro Theatre
The 460-seat El Morro Theatre opened in 1928 featuring a Spanish Colonial Revival exterior, a popular stylistic movement that came about in the early part of the twentieth century. Following its 1991 restoration, it is operated by the City of Gallup and is used for movie screenings, performing arts and other cultural events. For information about shows and times, visit their website at www.elmorrotheater.com.
Regional Day Trips
Whether you head North, South, East or West from Gallup, you’re bound to absorb incredible sights and experiences. We’ve compiled a collection of sights to check out on a day trip while you’re visiting Gallup. See them all at www.gallupculturaldistrict.org/visitors/regional-day-trips.
Native American Arts and Crafts
As the Native American jewelry capital of the world, the arts and crafts produced in and around Gallup stock the art markets of Santa Fe and San Francisco. Gallup offers an astonishing and unparalleled variety of high quality turquoise and silver jewelry, paintings, murals, pottery and sculpture, rugs and blankets, Kachina dolls and other Native arts and crafts. Please visit our page at www.gallupculturaldistrict.org/maps/native-american-arts for a complete list of Trading Posts and Pawn Shops located in Gallup’s MainStreet Arts & Cultural District.
Nightly Native American Dances
Summer Nightly Native American Dances take place every evening from Memorial Day through Labor Day, from 7PM to 8PM in the McKinley Courthouse Square Plaza. Experience authentic traditional dances from a variety of area tribes, with traditional drum, rattle and flute instruments, along with explanations regarding the cultural traditions that surround these dances. It is a great opportunity to experience Native American culture, music, and dance, while visiting vendor booths filled with authentic Native American arts and crafts in Historic Downtown Gallup. Visit nightlyindiandances.com for more information.
Not only does Gallup’s MainStreet Arts & Cultural District boast countless Native American Traders and Pawn Shops, it is also home to several Art Galleries featuring work by local and regional artists. At www.gallupculturaldistrict.org/downtown-art-galleries you’ll find a map and listing of all of the galleries found in the District.
ArtsCrawl occurs every second Saturday in Historic Downtown Gallup. Several downtown blocks are filled with local artists, musical acts ad vendors while the downtown art galleries and restaurants offer something special for everybody. Check out the ArtsCrawl Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/ArtscrawlGallup for updates and more information.
Trail of the Ancients
Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway is a mesmerizing mix of landscapes carved into shapes of every kind by wind and water. Pause and appreciate the long occupation by native communities, present over a time spectrum rarely intact elsewhere. Extending from Paleolithic society to ancestral Puebloans to nomadic Navajo, Apache and Ute tribes to the impact of European settlers, these native communities endure.
Gallup Community Concert Series
Live performers igniting your imagination and delighting your senses — featuring performances by both local and national musicians, the Gallup Community Concert Series offers everyone the opportunity to experience the magic of live performances by professional artists at local venues. More information, including a schedule of performances can be found on the Events Page.
Downtown Gallup Murals
In 2005 the City of Gallup commissioned a mural project to beautify and capture the area’s heritage and history. The result is nine amazing murals within easy walking distance of each other in the downtown area. Find a summary of the murals and an photos at www.gallupculturaldistrict.org/maps/mural-walking-tour.
ATV and Off-Road Vehicle Park
This brand-new park opened to the public in November 2010 after ten years of planning and hard work. The facility has a 1.2 mile track and 10 miles of ATV trails. The new park is located on approximately 300 acres of city land that has been designated for OHV use. The local club, Red Rock Motorsports Club, maintains the area and promotes events held there. For more information please visit www.gallupnm.gov/index.aspx?NID=340.
Hiking and Biking
Formally designated “The Adventure Capital of New Mexico,” Gallup is home to hundreds of miles of hiking, biking, climbing, and outdoor trails. From the rolling mesa trails of the High Desert Trail System to the tree-lined singletrack trails in the Zuni Mountains, here you’ll discover a variety of biking, hiking, and cross country skiing, and outdoor trails for all skill levels. More info at www.AdventureGallup.org.
Every August Gallup plays host to Native Americans from across the United States in a massive Inter-tribal ceremonial. The Indoor and Outdoor Marketplace and the Ceremonial Showroom present the country’s most complete and varied displays of genuine Indian fine arts, including Navajo rugs, katsinas, jewelry, pottery and basketry. There are socials, rodeos and parades. Inter-Tribal events run from Wednesday through Sunday. Events Friday, Saturday and Sunday run primarily 9am – 10pm but check the schedule before going out to Red Rock Park. More information can be found at gallupceremonial.com
Get a sense of Gallup’s rich and colorful heritage at the Rex Museum. Once a brothel and later a grocery, the museum building houses exhibits detailing a wide swath of local history, exploring the culture of the area’s earliest inhabitants, mining and railroad activities through to present-day Gallup. More information: www.gallupnm.gov/index.aspx?NID=208
Navajo Code Talker Exhibit
The Navajo Code Talker Museum at the Gallup-McKinley County Chamber of Commerce pays tribute to the valorous contributions of Native Americans to America’s victory in World War II. Here you’ll discover a great collection of memorabilia from World War II, showcasing how Navajo Code Talkers used their language as a basis for communication too difficult for the Germans and the Japanese to decipher.
Gallup Cultural Center
A Project of the Southwest Indian Foundation and the City of Gallup, the Gallup Cultural Center is located in the Historic Santa Fe Depot in Downtown Gallup. In addition to the permanent art gallery and museum attraction, the Gallup Cultural Center hosts several art education programs throughout the year. Stop by and see the Reunion of the Masters Gallery for a taste of the best artists in the area, walk through the Storyteller Museum to learn about the history of the cultures in our area, and buy authentic Native American jewelry and crafts from the gift shop. Find out more at www.southwestindian.com/foundation/cultural-center.