Second only to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival, this is a big event in Gallup. You are likely to get a free ride if you volunteer to crew for one of the balloons. The website will give you info on who to call and where to go to volunteer to crew.
Ceremonial Indian dances, marketplaces, juried art show, a professional Indian rodeo, parades in downtown Gallup, local foods, and Indian crafts demonstrated make this yearly event very popular. This is a 5 day event, bringing in thousands of people, from all over.
Special prices for jewelry, in town, start just before the event & continue through it, I discovered.
First Inter-tribal was in 1921, so there's organized tradition here & that makes for a great time for Indians & non-Indians. Much of it goes on at Red Rock State Park ( see state park tip).
Very exciting & beautiful event in so many ways!
Get Your Attention?! Well, its true, too. Pick any date but Summer! A few miles East of Gallup, this was a good place to picnic & camp, too.It is beautiful, the red rock cliffs & sand. I love the peacefulness.The Visitor Center has a small museum & garden of native plants, identified. There was a ceremony going in inside the multipurpose room honoring Native American servicemen & women. We didn't stay very long since we were on our way to Flagstaff, on our road trip in 2003. would LOVE to return!
See next entry for the annual inter-tribal ceremonial information held here. in August.
You have to stop in Gallup to buy some Indian jewelery. Best deals ever! Beware plastic stones that look real. Ask for certificate of authenticity, which seller should provide. Good place to stop for lunch, too, if you eat meat. As vegetarians, we had a hard time. Even the Navaho Tacos had ground beef in the little place we tried. Sorry, we couldn't eat them.
There are many modern places to stay overnight, too, chain motels & older independent, unique ones, too. Next time I go, I want to stay longer. Day trip possibilities abound! See the web site for many, very awesome, suggestions! !
And let me know what you did, so I can experience it vicariously, please. I will now reveal a dream I've had for many years --- to move to New Mexico! It may happen, yet!
I've put this under 'Must See' because I didn't stay here but rather my tour group just pulled in for a coffee/rest stop on our way down Route 66.
Once upon a time, this was a favourite stop for movie stars during Hollywood's heyday.
I've put more information & pictures in the Travelogue
You absolutely MUST visit McGaffey if you have time and like to be in the wilderness. It is absolutely nothing like Gallup and the surrounding area, it is lush and green with ponderosa pines, aspens, and oak trees.
The trail I like the most is called "Quaking Aspen" and it is about 8 miles long. If you just want to go on a 4 mile hike, go to the barbed wire fence and turn around. This trail is located at Mile marker 3 on Route 400. Take the McGaffey Exit on I-40 and just keep going on that road until you hit Cibola National Forest, it's just a few miles past that.
Pilot truckstop...20 miles east of Gallup...it's huge and it rocks...I've always found it a great stop for gas and to just browse around. they have amazing posole in the Subway Store there
Downtown Gallup is best enjoyed on foot in the 12-block downtown area bordered by Route 66/Main Street ( north ), Hill Avenue ( south ), Fourth Street ( west ), and First Street ( east ).