Gallup: The Adventure Capital of New Mexico
Gallup is a fantastic place to begin your New Mexico adventure. Whether your interests lie in culture, history, sports and outdoor activities, shopping, or exploring the beauty of the Southwest, Gallup has it all!
Visitor Center and Resources
For more information, we recommend you contact the Gallup-McKinley County Chamber of Commerce, New Mexico Tourism, or visit the resources listed here. The Chamber of Commerce also operates a visitor center at 106 West Highway 66 in downtown Gallup. Call the Chamber at (505) 722-2228 or call toll-free (800) 380-4989.
Amid the 200 million year-old cliffs at the city’s Red Rock Park and Museum, you’ll discover archeological sites that record the presence of the Anasazi culture, which inhabited the area from approximately 300-1200 CE. The Red Rock Museum has interpretive displays featuring the ancient past alongside more recent contributions from the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi tribes.
Culture and History
The Gallup Cultural Center, located in the historic Santa Fe Railway depot, offers something for every interest: trains, weaving, sandpainting, Historic Route 66, silversmithing, and more come to life in the Storyteller Museum, with in-depth audio interviews with experts. The Rex Museum showcases modern-era Gallup, with exhibits depicting community life during its railroad and mining days. 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.
Gallup offers a full slate of thrilling events throughout the year. Spring and Summer are filled with a series of rodeo events, including the Wrangler Best of the Best Timed Event Invitational, Wild Thing championship bullriding, and the USTRC roping competition. Every August for nearly a century, Gallup has hosted the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial. The Ceremonial features five days of Native American dancing, parades, elaborate costumes, authentic foods, arts, music, rodeo performances and more. In December the Red Rock Balloon Rally, one of the world’s largest balloon rallies, launches in Gallup with upwards of 200 balloons ascending into the blue skies above Red Rock Park.
Arts and Crafts
As the Indian jewelry capital of the world, the wares produced in our community 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.
Route 66 buffs will want to check out historic sitessuch as the El Rancho Hotel. During Hollywood’s golden years of the 40’s and 50’s, stars such as John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Ronald Reagan, Katherine Hepburn, and Kirk Douglas frequented the hotel while filming in the majestic scenery of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Today’s visitors can partake in a meal or an overnight stay and tour the memorabilia-lined grand lobby.
Active Sports and the Outdoors
Gallup is a paradise for those seeking the ultimate in outdoor adventure. The dramatic red rocks offer a myriad of rock climbing opportunities, along with world-class hiking and biking trails. Motorsports enthusiasts can challenge their skills at the Gallup Motocross Park. Shooters are welcomed at our local range with rifle, pistol and trap/skeet facilities. Thousands of recreational acres in state and national forests are open for horseback riding, hunting and fishing.