city in and county seat of McKinley County, New Mexico, United States

Gallup is an important gateway to the Navajo Nation and other nearby attractions in the state of New Mexico. Gallup has numerous trading posts and Indian-themed gift shops, and an abundance of natural scenery surrounding town. In 2020, it was home to 22,000 people.

The Gallup Intertribal Indian Ceremonial

Get in

  • Gallup is on Interstate 40, which at this point follows the route of historic Route 66. It is about two hours from Albuquerque. This stretch of road, however, is seemingly under nearly constant construction, and you may have some unexpected driving delays. Dust storms and wind-driven blizzards can also create delays, particularly between Gallup and Grants.
  • The nearest major airport is in Albuquerque.
  • Amtrak's Southwest Chief, the main Amtrak train line across the Southwest, has a station in Gallup. The westbound train arrives at 7:08PM and the eastbound train arrives at 8:51AM. This stop has no ticket office and no Quik-Trak ticket machine so tickets must be purchased at another station or on-line.

Get around


By bus


Gallup express +1 505-906-6006. Bus fare is $1. Buses run every hour between 6AM and 6PM. The main transfer stop for the buses is at East Aztec and South 2nd street, a few blocks southwest of the Amtrak Station. The most useful route is route 1. Route 1 runs between downtown to some hotels next to Rio West Mall.

  • 1 Red Rock Park, 825 Outlaw Rd, Church Rock, +1 505-722-3839, . It is just outside town and features colorful scenery. Hiking and camping are possible, and there are several special events during the year, probably the best-known of which is the Gallup Intertribal Indian Ceremonial in early August. The Ceremonial is a major event with dancing, arts and crafts, Native American foods, etc.
  • 2 Rex Museum, 220 W Rte 66, +1 505-863 1363. At the site of a former brothel, a small museum about the town's history
  • 3 Gallup Cultural Center, 201 E Rte 66 (in Amtrak train station), +1 505-863-4131. M-F 11AM-3PM. This museum has several galleries about Native American culture, and one about the World War II Navajo Wind Talkers.
  • 1 Gallup Flea Market, 340 N 9th St. 9AM to 3PM. If you want to find great Native American art, jewelry, food and shop with the locals, check out the Gallup Flea Market every Saturday, rain or shine.
  • 2 Fire Rock Casino, 249 U.S. Rte 66, Church Rock (2.3 miles east of Exit 26 on I-40), +1 505-905 7100, toll-free: +1-866-941-2444, .    
Inside one of Gallup's many trading posts

Gallup has a lot of jewelry stores and crafts stores.

Gallupian cuisine is a mix of traditional New Mexican food and Native American food. It is generally very spicy.

  • 1 Earl's Family Restaurant, 1400 E Highway 66, +1 505-863-4201. Daily 6AM-9PM, Fridays until 9:30PM, Sundays until 4PM. A long-time local favorite serving a mixture of New Mexican and mainstream American food.
  • 2 Jerry's Cafe, 406 W Coal Ave, +1 505-722 6775. M-Sa 8AM-8PM. Mexican-American food.




  • 1 Colonial Motel, 1007 W Coal Ave, +1 505-391-1085. Very quaint. $40.
  • 2 El Rancho Hotel, 1000 E. Rt. 66, +1 505-863-9311, . Self-proclaimed "Home of the movie stars", this kitschy hotel was built in 1937 for the brother of Hollywood director D.W. Griffith and was headquarters for a number of westerns filmed in the area in the 1940s and 50s. Its current owners keep the hotel in vintage condition, and if the atmosphere is a little patchy in places, the prices are reasonable and the environment worth the trouble. $58-86 (1-4 people).    
  • 3 Royal Holiday Motel, 1903 W Historic Hwy 66, +1 505-862-9447. Indoor hot tub and pool and breakfast buffet. $55.

Stay safe


While Gallup is a small city (pop 21000), there are severe problems with violent crime (nearly five times the national average), widespread alcoholism, poverty (severe among the native population, which represents 44% of the city, although mine closures have hurt the city as a whole) and homelessness. What little money is available goes all too often to feed the blight of numerous liquor stores, usurious payday loans and pawn shops which infest the main street. Expect to be harassed by aggressive panhandlers and intoxicated persons, especially at night.

Go next

  • Although Gallup is in a desert, there are high mountain peaks and pristine alpine forests within an hour's drive of town. Notables include Mount Taylor (11,301 feet) and the Zuni Mountains.
  • Navajo Nation occupies most of the space north and west of town to the state line, with various points of interest.
  • Chaco Culture National Historical Park and El Malpais National Monument are United States national parks and monuments within easy driving distance of Gallup, about an hour north and east, respectively. A tip: If you're going to Chaco, do not approach from the southwest (NM 371 to NM 9 directly to NM 57) unless you have 4-wheel drive; this road has several hairy spots, and you're a long way from help if you get stuck. Instead take 371 to 9 and around to the much more civilized approach from the east side. It's 20 miles longer, but much less likely to be impassable.
Routes through Gallup
Los AngelesWinslow  W   E  AlbuquerqueKansas City
FlagstaffPetrified Forest National Park  W   E  GrantsAlbuquerque
CortezFarmington  N   S  END
FlagstaffPetrified Forest National Park  W   E  GrantsAlbuquerque

This city travel guide to Gallup is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.