Central New Mexico : Mountainair
Mountainair is a small town in Central New Mexico. It is most well known for being the home of the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument. Mountainair is located on the eastern side of the Manzano Mountains, separated from the rest of Central New Mexico.
Mountainair is located on US-60 about 40 miles east of I-25. The intersection with I-25 lies between Belen and Socorro. US-60 continues east into Southeast New Mexico, passing through Fort Sumner and Clovis.
From the north, a more scenic (and longer) trip from Albuquerque is to take I-40 to Tijeras, then take NM-337 south to NM-55 south, which brings you into Mountainair through several small settlements. This route passes by the eastern side of the Manzano Mountains.
Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
+1 505 847-2585, . Summer hours 9AM-6PM daily, winter hours 9AM-5PM daily. Free.
The Salinas Pueblo Missions are a series of ruins of several Native American villages and Spanish missions dating back to Spanish colonial times, which were later abandoned. The monument is composed of three sites: Abo, Quarai, and Gran Quivira. All three showcase the remains of impressive Spanish missions and the partially excavated Native American villages alongside them. All three sites also have a small ranger station and gift shop, where you can learn about the history of the site and purchase trail guides.
The nearby Manzano Mountains offer opportunities for hiking, camping, and picnicking. The Manzano Mountains State Park , located north of Mountainair outside of the town of Manzano, offers camp sites and hiking trails.