Pecos and Las Vegas

Head east out of town along I-25 North about 30 miles and explore the town and wilderness areas alongside the Pecos River, then continue to the town of Las Vegas, NM, about 60 miles northeast of Santa Fe.

Pecos National Monument: Just south of the village of Pecos on NM 63 via a short and scenic drive from Santa Fe are the ruins of a fourteenth-century pueblo and a seventeenth-century mission church built on the site. The Monument also includes historic portions of the Santa Fe Trail and New Mexico’s only Civil War battle site located in Glorieta. Call 505-757-6121;www.nps.gov/pecos/

Las Vegas: Frequently confusing visitors who think the gambling town of Las Vegas, Nevada is close by, this New Mexico city of the same name is a town of 15,000 and marks the spot where the mountains end and the Great Plains begin; the Spanish name Las Vegas translates to “the plains.” Once a traditional Spanish-Colonial town complete with a central plaza, it became an important wagon stop on the Santa Fe Trail and later a regional railroad hub. Although passenger rail service eventually faded, the town has some 900 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and many of the stately old Victorian homes and public buildings are a legacy of the city’s railroad era.


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