Farmington is a town in the northwest region of the state of New Mexico, United States of America. It is notable as a gateway to Navajo Nation and the Four Corners area, and as a center for folk art, particularly Navajo weavings. Attractions associated with the nearby towns of Aztec, Bloomfield, Kirtland and Shiprock, about the nearest things that highly rural northwestern New Mexico has to "suburbs," are also covered in this article.
Farmington is connected by roads coming from all directions. US-64 runs east-west through Bloomfield, Farmington, and Shiprock. US-550 runs north-south through Bloomfield and Aztec, running from near Albuquerque to the south and Durango to the north. US-491 runs north-south through Shiprock, continuing south to Gallup and north to Cortez.
Farmington is served by several commuter air links and is the home base for Mesa Airlines, a commuter airline with links to various majors. Air travel from Albuquerque, Denver and Phoenix is relatively convenient. No passenger trains serve the town.
Aztec Ruins National Monument is near the small town of Aztec, just northeast of Farmington proper. One of the many United States National Parks of the Four Corners region, Aztec Ruins preserves the remains of a large pueblo village. A short trail winds through the ruins, allowing you to stoop through low doorways into the site and between the old walls. Another highlight is a massive restored kiva, which is quite impressive on the inside. Day use; $5/person entry fee, interagency (NPS) annual pass applies.
Salmon Ruin is an archaeological site related to those at much more extensive Chaco Culture National Historical Park to the south (see under "Get out"). On US 64 between Farmington and Bloomfield. Open 9-5 daily (12-5 on Sundays during the winter); admission $3, with reduced rates for seniors and children.
Ship Rock itself lies beyond the town of the same name, a spectacular monolith rising from the desert that has featured in many movies of the Wild West. It's well worth a visit for some photography.
Farmington is known for its outstanding recreational facilities and events, annually hosting the Connie Mack World Series, the XTERRA Four Corners Off-Road Triathlon and The Road Apple Rally, the longest running annual mountain bike race in the country. World class trout fishing on the San Juan River, below the Navajo Dam, and golf at Pinon Hills Golf Course are top attractions year-around.
Farmington is one of the top places to obtain Navajo rugs and other arts and crafts of the Navajo. There are several reputable dealers in town (as well as, unfortunately, several others ranging from schlocky to downright misleading), largely clustered in the downtown district or along US 64 west toward Kirtland. The Foutz galleries and posts, distributed through several communities in the region, have a long history of offering quality goods. The main Foutz frontage is at 301 W. Main Street downtown (+1 505 325-9413), with others on the way to Kirtland and in Shiprock. Hogback Trading Post, in Waterflow (15 miles west of downtown on US 64), is another outfit with a good reputation. If you encounter another dealer offering good work, add it here.
Keep an eye open for Navajo rug auctions, which can be an excellent way of acquiring a rug at prices below those found at the dealers. The Crownpoint rug auctions, at a tiny town in Navajo Nation and covered further in that article, offer a superbly diverse inventory of rugs and frequently excellent value for dollar, as well as a fascinating cultural experience. Lodging in Crownpoint is nonexistent, and if you go to an auction, you'll do well to secure lodging in Farmington first. Auctions are occasionally held in Farmington proper as well, although they usually aren't as extensive as those at Crownpoint.
Three Rivers Restaurant and Brewhouse, 101 E Main St, ☎ +1 505 324-2187. Great American food, craft beer, pizza, and shuffleboard. Friendly staff. Three Rivers won best beer and best cider at New Mexico's Fair Pro-Am Competition, so beer lovers have a good reason to get off the highway.
Holiday Inn of Farmington, 800 E. Broadway, +1 505 327-9811. Generic chain hotel, nothing special, but not bad at all.
La Quinta Inn Farmington, 675 Scott Ave., +1 505 327-4706. Likewise.
Kokopelli's Cave Bed & Breakfast, 3204 Crestridge Drive, tel: +1 505-325-7855, (fax: +1 505-325-9671, email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org), . $240-380 (2 People/Four People). Located in an underground cave which was dug out of sandstone.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a major national park about 60 miles south of town. Unless you're prepared for some bucolic car camping, it's wise to secure lodging in Farmington before heading off for Chaco, as lodging in the park is limited to a single, not-well-developed campground.
Four Corners National Monument, where New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah meet at the same point, is located northwest of town (take US-64 to US-160 north); not much there but a monument and some vendors, but you can say you've visited the only point in the United States where four states meet. Entry fee is $3. The monument closes at 5PM.
Mesa Verde National Park is the other major national park in the Four Corners area, about 40 miles north across the Colorado state line. Truly magnificent ruins, with fine scenery to boot.
Navajo Nation occupies much of the Four Corners region, starting just west of the Farmington city limits. A number of interesting posts and galleries featuring Navajo rugs are along US 64 leading west from Farmington to the town of Shiprock.
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