Gallup: A Convergence of Cultures

Learn more about the unique culture of Gallup, New Mexico and start planning your trip today.

A young woman riding a buffalo, with several buffalos around her,  during the Gallup InterTribal Ceremonial’s rodeo. Photo by Gary Langston

Gallup, New Mexico is a truly authentic representation of adventure steeped in culture. Above all, Gallup is special because of its diverse population and rich history of Indigenous Peoples which goes back thousands of years. Gallup is where the crossroads of cultures between Indigenous Peoples, western flair and tradition, Route 66, mining industries, and the transcontinental railroad meet.

Gallup is incredibly beautiful. The formations around Red Rock Park greet visitors with stunning views of the landscape painted in unforgettable hues of natural color. A short trip of 20 minutes east from Red Rock Park will land one in the whispering pines of the Cibola National Forest. Beautiful in its own right, the forest provides a stark contrast to the high desert surrounding it. Red Rock Park plus the desert and forest areas surrounding Gallup provide ample opportunities for outdoor recreation and connectivity to nature.

Neon signs, vehicles on tall lifts, and other roadside attractions are plentiful in Gallup’s stretch of Route 66, or "the Mother Road." Route 66 turns 100 years old in 2026, and Gallup is already preparing for this momentous occasion. Follow @VisitGallup on social media for updates. 

Gallup is the go-to spot for authentic Native American jewelry, art, and culture. The Gallup Cultural Center, 201 E. Highway 66, is a great location to see the convergence of cultures in the area. You can learn more about the service of Navajo Code Talkers during World War II, the importance of the railroad in Gallup, and see beautiful art, among the many other offerings. The Cultural Center also has a café and shopping opportunities. It is a great stop to learn more about the area and fuel up before heading to your next activity. 

The Red Rock Balloon Rally, held in December, is another important and longstanding tradition in the community. It may not be the largest balloon rally in the state, but it is the only event in which participants – and skilled balloon pilots – can fly through canyons, over mesas, and take in the wonders of the landscape. This event also features dances by Indigenous groups. It is a stunning sight to watch the dances lit by a campfire nestled into the gorgeous Red Rock Park. 

Go to to start planning your trip. You can book a hotel room, plan your itinerary, and follow custom or pre-built tours. The Gallup Tourism Office is here to help.

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