One of our favorite things to do when we are in the Santa Fe area is to drive the Turquoise Trail. The Turquoise Trail is a National Scenic Byway (Highway 14) that runs between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. It has become one of our traditions when we are in the Santa Fe Albuquerque area. Rich often tells me stories of how he and his parents drove this scenic highway when he was young.

Sandia Peak

We usually enter the Turquoise Trail from Albuquerque as one of our very first stops is Sandia Crest (locals call it Sandia Peak), which is about a 15 mile drive from the Turquoise Trail. The drive up to Sandia Peak is a very scenic drive and is part of the Cibola National Forest. I plan to write more in another post about the Sandia Peak.

Sandia Peak Off of the Turquoise Trail

A Little About Madrid

Our next stop was Madrid, a unique and historic area known for its eclectic variety of shops and boutiques, offering local art galleries, handcrafted turquoise jewelry (turquoise is mined in the area), woodworking art, restaurants, and more. It is not unusual to see people strolling the street and perusing the shops.

Maggie’s Diner In Madrid Was Built For Movies And Is Now A Shop
Jewelry Shop in Madrid That Features Locally Mined Turquoise

Cerrillos Hills State Park

A little farther down, or perhaps I should say up the Turquoise Trail, we came across Cerrillos Hills State Park. It was warm the day we were there, but late in the day and it was enjoyable to spend some time in the warmth and in nature.

Cerrillos Hills State Park Entrance

Good to Know

You can enter the Turquoise Trail from the north, just outside of Santa Fe (Cerrillos Road), or from the south just east of Albuquerque (Highway 40), on NM Hwy. 14. We generally stay in Santa Fe, so entering the trail from the Albuquerque side is best for us.

For more information  about the Turquoise Trail, you can visit New Mexico’s website here.

There may be restrooms at some of the eating establishments in Madrid. There are restrooms about 5 minutes up the road on the left side. Cerrillos Hills State Park also has restrooms.


The Turquoise Trail is a beautiful drive, offering many scenic and panoramic views, that you will not want to miss when you are in the area.

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