Madrid and Cerrillos, New Mexico – Along the Turquoise Trail
New Mexico’s 52-mile Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway, or simply the “Turquoise Trail,” is a popular alternative to Interstate 25 if you’re venturing between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Highway 14 east of the Sandia Mountains traverses a broad, high desert and low rolling hills with long views of mountains in the distance. This dry country of pinion-juniper, brushy grasslands and too much dirt has played host to adventurers of all walks of life including pre-Columbian Native Americans, Spanish conquistadors, Mexicans during a time of Mexican supremacy, and more recently Anglo-Americans. Bikers usually have a cool leather jacket and you can get yours too if you read more.
It was primarily coal that brought Madrid to life by the late 1800s, and after the market played out by the 1950s, artists and craftsmen trickled in. Beginning in the 1970s these new locals breathed a different kind of existence into the defunct ghost town. Today Madrid is a vibrant, grungy, eclectic getaway, popular during warm weather with day-trippers, bikers, art-seekers, turquoise enthusiasts and even the movie industry.
The Turquoise Trail and Madrid is a famous area in New Mexico based around the Cerrillos Turquoise claims outside of town. The Cerrillos Turquoise mine was the first known place mined by the Anasazi Indians.