Sky City: A Gem Hidden in Plain Sight

Don Cohen Don Cohen  |  03.03.2014

During the winter and well into the the spring, many RV travelers lock in travel plans for southwestern US destinations such as Phoenix, Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Quartzite and Palm Springs.  If your travel plans allow, consider taking the northernmost of the southern east-west Interstates to or from. It’s I-40 which runs through New Mexico and roughly parallels the old Route 66.

About an hour west of Albuquerque the Sky City exit is a great overnight stop and, if you plan ahead, a fascinating trip back in time to the unique Acoma pueblo that sits atop a fortress-like mesa.  At the Sky City exit there’s a truck stop, motel, casino, much better than average buffet restaurant, and a full hook-up RV park for a great price of $18 dollars.

From the casino the pueblo is about a 20-25 minute drive on paved roads that will accommodate larger rigs.  During the off-season tours are only on the weekends and run hourly.  In-season tours operate daily.

The Acoma tribe runs the modern visitors center, classy gift shop and tours through the Pueblo.  You should figure on a minimum of three hours, stretching to four, from your starting point at the casino. The adult tour fee is $23 which also includes a photo permit.

In the American southwest, the Acoma pueblo is one of the most scenic and fascinating. It dates back to before the Spanish missionaries began their colonization of the area in the early 1600’s.  Tribal guides walk you through the pueblo and its deep history, legends, and myths.  As you tour the pueblo there will be tribal members displaying their local handicrafts.  Here you’ll find very affordable trinkets, but also some exceptionally high quality pottery that is singularly unique to the Acoma pueblo.  And this is one case where purchasing a finely made piece of pottery here will cost you much less than in the gift shops and outdoor markets of Albuquerque or Santa Fe.  To read a much fuller story of a morning’s tour of the Acoma pueblo click here.

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  1. Buster Monasmith Posted on 04.22.2017

    My wife and I have been to the Acoma Pueblo several times. The first time was the year after the road had been put in. It was on that visit that we learned, the people living there did not allow picture taking of the cemetery, or of the inside of the onsite church. The entire Pueblo is like stepping back in time, and is worth your time to stop, and see.

  2. rick Posted on 03.07.2017

    thanks for the info. have added it to our itinerary on our rtn trip from Vegas next month.

  3. Philip Bishop Posted on 04.13.2014

    Back in 1970 when I worked for Anaconda at the Jackpile mine we used to take the ancient trail of hand holds and foot holds up to the top of the mesa. I fondly recall purchasing my first piece of Acoma pottery for $5. We have since retired to New Mexico.

  4. Dave & Jan Nichols! Posted on 03.14.2014

    We have been to Acoma Sky City many times! It is one of the first places we take guests when they come to visit the ABQ. area! When you are traveling west on I-40 out of ABQ. don’t pass it by! You will be amazed!