Santa Rosa is about half the size of Tucumcari, in size and population. Founded in 1865, the town began as nothing more than a large ranch called Aqua Negro Chiquita. Around 1890 it took on a new name honoring a chapel built by Don Celso Baco who named it for his wife and Saint Rosa of Lima.
Route 66 was completed through Santa Rosa in 1930 and became known as a well-known oasis in the desert. Today, there’s not too many reminders of days gone by, but there are still some cool things to see.
Route 66 Auto Museum
A collection of vintage cars, trucks, toys, gas pumps and memorabilia, all brought together to celebrate and remember the glory days.
The Blue Hole
In addition to its Route 66 fame, Santa Rosa is also designated as “The Scuba Diving Capital of the Southwest”. The Blue Hole is 80 feet wide, 81 Feet deep, and one of seven sister lakes, all interconnected underground. It maintains a constant 61 degrees. Scuba divers come from all over the country to dive its perfect clear waters and caves.
Pecos River Bridge
The memorable train scene in the Hollywood movie version of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, where Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) watches a freight train travel over the Pecos River Bridge in Santa Rosa.
Santa Rosa Lake State Park
Just 7 miles from downtown Santa Rosa, the 3,800-acre scenic lake offers fishing, boating, camping, and hiking, as well as abundant bird watching opportunities.
We will be continuing on into Albuquerque on Saturday and we’re looking forward to spending a couple of weeks checking out its history.