New Mexico Route 66

New Mexico

New Mexico Route 66


Grants, New Mexico, during the hey-day of Route 66 this section of the Mother Road through Grants and on to Gallup was perhaps one of the most memorable sections. This was the New Mexico of legend, the mysterious land of enchantment. The country is mountainous and colorful. It is here that Route 66 crosses the continental divide, and Native American culture is evident everywhere. Trading Posts abound. To the eastern traveler this was the real west.


Grants Movie Theater
West Theater in Grants

West Theater

Grants, New Mexico, was founded with the railroad. The town got its name from the three Grant brothers, Santa Fe contractors, who maintained the site of Grant's Camp. The post office was established in 1882 with the name of Grants and the town followed suit and changed the name of Grant's Camp to plain old Grants in 1936 - just a couple years later. Grants is a true Route 66 town and has vintage motels backed right up to the Santa Fe tracks. At night you can fall asleep listening to the sounds of the trains rolling by. To me that is a soothing sound and brings back childhood memories of traveling along Route 66.

Los Alimitos Motel is Now a Memory
Los Alamitos Motel ~ the sign is everything


Sands Motel

Roaring Twenties is not so Roaring Anymore


Francisco Lodge


Bluewater Trading Post ~ The Mystery

Author in 1956 at Bluewater, New Mexico

About seven miles west of Grants along old Route 66 you will come to the small trading center of Bluewater. Bluewater held a special fascination for me. Once a long time ago my family passed through here on vacation from Denver to California like so many Americans of that time period. I have some old photographs from that vacation in 1956 that were taken at Bluewater, New Mexico. I wanted to see if I could find the old Trading Post where these pictures were taken. Look as I might, I couldn't find what I thought was the old Trading Post or even a likely site of the old trading post. I even asked some locals and showed them the picture, but I guess that almost a half a century dims even the most astute memory.

If anybody reading this knows anything about the mysterious Bluewater Trading Post shown in the picture I sure would like to hear from you.


Bluewater Motel

Bluewater Motel Sign

The Bluewater Motel has been closed for sometime now and old Allen's garage stands silent. The Interstate passes close by and there is a Bowlin's Trading Post and gas station located at the off ramp; Bluewater Outpost. Rittenhouse mentions a Bowlin's Trading Post in the area in his 1946 guidebook. If so Bowlin's has been here quite a while.

Bluewater Garage

Photographs Taken September 2002

Click on an area or city of Route 66 on the map below to take a cyber tour of that section of the  Mother Road

Travel Cyber Route 66 in New Mexico

Go West on New Mexico Route 66

NAVIGATION NOTE: Buckle up and hold on to your mouse! These pages are arranged like the map above, from the western state border to the eastern state border. I have set up this site as if you were traveling from EAST to WEST, much like the Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath. You can click on the Route 66 shields to "travel" the Mother Road in either direction though. Or you can select any shield below to take you to that specific state.

Go East on New Mexico Route 66

To Gallup

To San Fidel


Select the Route 66 State to Visit



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