Day 6b: El Rancho Hotel


Lobby of El Rancho Hotel

We pulled out from the hotel and hit I-40 W at 11am, calculating that we had more than enough time to get to the Grand Canyon by sunset. It had been a wonderful start to the day and having seen many, many Route 66 historical sites the previous two days, we decided to take the interstate to the first site we were interested in, namely Gallup. That meant we skipped several places including Isleta Pueblo, Los Lunas, Correo-Mesita, Laguna, Paraje, Budville, Cubero, San Fidel-McCarty’s, Grants, Milan-Anaconda-Bluewater-Prewitt, Thoreau, and Continental Divide. However, none of these places seemed to have a lot to offer (to us), and since Route 66 literally went parallel to I-40 W on this stretch, we “saw” most of these sites. The attraction in Gallup was first and foremost the El Rancho Hotel and Motel, which definitely lived up to our expectations. The interior décor was amazing, old bricks and wood with autographed photographs of famous actors lining the upstairs walls. I went to the back and looked at the famous hotel guest rooms named after Hollywood personalities who used to stay there during their filmmaking days when Gallup was the so-called “Hollywood Southwest.” Among the actors were Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Jane Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart, Susan Hayward, Burt Lancaster, and many, many more. There was a big restaurant, gift shop and a lounge filled with elderly women playing bridge while we visited. It was certainly worth a visit!