New Mexico Attractions

Things to do in Gallup, NM

See the attractions

Beyond Route 66

Aside from the access to Route 66 and the plethora of National Parks, a stay at the El Rancho Hotel puts some of the most unique and memorable activities at your footstep. Here are some of the exciting Attractions in New Mexico that will be available to you while staying at the El Rancho Hotel.

Major Events

Staying with us at El Rancho Hotel is more than just a stop along the way, it’s a destination where you can experience unique, once in a lifetime major events.


Years Ongoing

Yearly Gatherings

Indian Ceremonials

In Early August, Gallup becomes the meeting place for Native Americans throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Canada who come to share their cultures with the rest of the world. The Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonials is an annual celebration of Native American culture that has been occurring for almost 100 years. It consists of parades through downtown Gallup followed by Rodeos, Powwows, artistic and spiritual performances and sharing of cultures between Native Americans.

During the ceremonials, there is an indoor and outdoor marketplace as well as a showroom that presents one of the best and most complete displays of Native American Art in the world. The artwork includes Navajo rugs, jewelry, Pottery, and Paintings.

One of the most important and enjoyable portions of the ceremonials is the nightly dances. These dances are the culmination of the Ceremonials where dancers from every tribe come together to celebrate their cultures. There is an additional fee to attend the dances but it is definitely worth it.

Balloon Rally

Described as a balloonist’s paradise, the Red Rock Balloon Rally held just outside of Gallup, New Mexico offers balloonists the once in a lifetime opportunity to travel over the stunning mesas and vistas of the Southwest.

The Red Rock Balloon Rally is the 2nd Largest Balloon Event in the World and offers spectators a jaw dropping view of colors against the magnificent southwestern sky. Often, pilots will allow individuals to ride with them. In fact, spectators are encouraged to become active participants.

For balloonists, the event is by invitation only but the Red Rock Balloon Rally Association accepts invitations to be considered for the event. If you are interested in applying, you should contact the balloon rally association at [email protected]

For spectators, the city is filled with events throughout the Balloon Rally including Native American exhibits, Indian dances, a Balloon Glow, and the opportunity to ride in pilot’s balloons.

If you are traveling through the area, the El Rancho Hotel offers Balloon Rides throughout the year through partnerships with local pilots. If you are interested in a Hot Air Balloon Ride during your trip to the El Rancho Hotel we would be happy to assist you.

Shopping for Native American Art

Gallup is where Art dealers from the rest of the World, including places like Santa Fe and Scottsdale, come to buy Indian Jewelry for their stores.  Any piece of Indian Art that can be found in places like Santa Fe can be found in Gallup and usually at a much lower cost.  The Gallup Indian Art scene is robust, to say the least, and offers you a multitude of opportunities to buy from Jewelry Stores (the most common type of retail store in downtown Gallup)  or directly from Artists.  The majority of the Jewelry found in Gallup is made by the Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni.  If you need help with Jewelry or have any questions about American Indian Art the owner of the El Rancho, Armand Ortega, would be happy to assist you.


Outdoor Activities

Staying with us at El Rancho Hotel is more than just a stop along the way, it’s a destination where you can experience unique, once in a lifetime major events.

Mountain Biking

Gallup, New Mexico and the surrounding area offers stunning Mountain Biking Paths with scenery ranging from Aspen covered Mountains to Red Rock Mesas. In 2012, the High Desert Trail System in Gallup was selected by the US Department of the Interior as one of “America’s Great Trails.” In the last ten years, Gallup has made a multi-million dollar investment in its bike trails and has created one of the premier mountain biking locations in the United States.


Biking events

  • US 24-Hour National Mountain Biking Championships (2013 & 2014);
  • Zuni Mountains 100 Endurance Race;
  • High Desert Screamert MTB Race; and
  • Dawn ’til Dusk.

If you want to support Gallup Biking, we highly encourage you to participate in an event, join Gallup Trails 2010, or donate to Gallup Trails 2010 (a member of the International Mountain Bicycling Association) which has meetings in the lobby of the El Rancho Hotel on the first Monday of every month and was recently awarded the Jessica R. Terrell Award from New Mexico State Parks for their work advocating for and building trails. According to the New Mexico State Parks Director, Dave simon, “Gallup Trails 2010 truly deserves this award for completing an impressive and successful trail system-one of the most exciting new trail projects in New Mexico. This effort has involved the community and shown how trails can add great benefits to a community.”

Hiking Trails

The development of the trails is a direct result of the Gallup Trails Association and the Open Space Plan initiated by the City of Gallup, McKinley County, Adventure Gallup and Beyond, Gallup Trails 2010, and the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program with special thanks to the AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers who transformed the trails around Gallup.

Stay With Us.

Book your stay with us and enjoy your experience, with easy access from Route 66.

1000 E. Highway 66 Gallup, NM 87301

Contact us

Reach out to us below with any questions about your reservation or trip to Gallup.

El Rancho