Española (New Mexico)

Española is a small, predominately Hispanic city at the heart of North Central New Mexico. Situated in a wide valley between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the east and the Jemez on the west, Española has few tourist attractions of its own and isn't much to look at from the main roads — passing through, what you'll see is mostly strip malls and gas stations — but its location midway between Santa Fe and Taos, combined with its proximity to a number of Pueblo Indian communities, makes the town a useful staging point for trips around the region.

Get in

Española is about 20 miles (30 km) north of Santa Fe on US Highway 84/285. US 84/285 are co-routed on the same road through town, and split apart at a junction about 10 miles northwest of Española. Other roads out of Española are NM 68, which heads northeast to Taos; NM 76, the "High Road to Taos" which heads east through some mountain villages; and NM 30, which heads southwest towards Los Alamos. Though there is a small airport north of town, there is no commercial air service.

New Mexico Park and Ride offers regular weekday bus service to Santa Fe and Los Alamos. Additionally, Española also serves as a hub for NCRTD bus service to many of the communities of North Central New Mexico; service is limited and restricted to the weekdays, with the exception of the Taos Express weekend service to Taos and Santa Fe.

Get around

Española is not particularly pedestrian friendly. Nearly everything in town requires a car to be reached.


Most of the most interesting things to see are not on the main drag. You'll need to venture onto the side roads. Ansel Adams' famous "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941," considered by some the finest photographic black-and-white print ever made, was taken just north of Española. Bring your camera and see what you see.

Puye Cliff Dwellings






Go next

Routes through Española

Pagosa Springs Abiquiu  N  S  Pojoaque Santa Fe
Alamosa Jct W E  N  S  Merges with
END  SW  NE  Rio Grande del Norte N.M. Taos

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