top of page
  • Writer's pictureNatalija Ugrina

A Journey Through Time: The Historic El Rancho Hotel and the Enchantment of Gallup on Route 66

As I meandered along the legendary Route 66, affectionately dubbed the "Mother Road," my travels brought me to a place that felt like stepping into a page from history. Nestled in the heart of Gallup, New Mexico, the El Rancho Hotel stands as a beacon of the past, a treasure trove of stories and a testament to the golden era of American road travel. The charm of Gallup, with its vibrant blend of Native American and Hispanic cultures, set the perfect backdrop for my exploration of this historic hotel and the storied route it adorns.

Historic El Rancho Hotel
Historic El Rancho Hotel

Gallup, often referred to as the "Indian Capital of the World," is a mosaic of culture, art, and history. The city thrives with the spirit of the Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi peoples, among others, whose influences are palpable in every corner. The local cuisine, the colorful markets brimming with handcrafted jewelry, pottery, and weavings, and the mesmerizing dances and ceremonies, all contribute to the rich tapestry of Gallup. This cultural haven, however, is not the only jewel in Gallup's crown. The city's location on Route 66 adds a layer of historical allure, attracting travelers from all corners of the globe seeking to experience the famed American road trip.

el rancho hotel gallup new mexico

The El Rancho Hotel, my abode for this leg of my journey, is a monument to the heyday of Route 66. Built in 1937 by R.E. "Griff" Griffith, brother to the famous Hollywood director D.W. Griffith, the hotel was conceived as a home away from home for the stars. And oh, what stars walked its halls! John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, and Virginia Mayo, to name a few, all found solace within its walls while filming in the rugged beauty of the Southwest.

My stay in the very room that once welcomed Virginia Mayo added a layer of intimacy to this historic exploration. Virginia Mayo, the blonde bombshell of the '40s and '50s,

Virginia Mayo el rancho hotel

known for her roles in classics

such as "The Best Years of Our Lives" and "White Heat," brought a touch of Hollywood glamour to the rugged landscapes of New Mexico. The room, adorned with photographs and memorabilia from her illustrious career, felt like a living museum, a space where history and present merged.

Stepping into the lobby of El Rancho Hotel is like stepping back in time. The grandiose staircase, the chandeliers, and the vast collection of Western memorabilia transport you to an era where glamour and rustic charm met. The hotel's guest register reads like a who's who of Hollywood royalty from the mid-20th century, a reminder of its glamorous past.

But the El Rancho Hotel is more than just a place to stay; it's an experience. Each room is named after a star who stayed there, offering a unique connection to the legends of the silver screen. Dining in the 49er Lounge, you can almost hear the echoes of laughter and music from nights gone by, a nostalgic nod to the gatherings of celebrities and locals alike.

interior el rancho hotel gallup
Interior of the hotel

Exploring Gallup and the El Rancho Hotel on Route 66 was not just a journey through space, but through time. The Mother Road, with its tales of adventure, hope, and exploration, and the El Rancho Hotel, with its whispers of Hollywood glamor and days gone by, are testaments to the enduring spirit of America's past. As I continued my journey along Route 66, I carried with me the stories and the spirit of Gallup and the El Rancho Hotel, a reminder of the rich tapestry of history and culture that defines this iconic route.

natalija ugrina route 66 el rancho hotel gallup

For those yearning to experience the essence of historic America, to tread the paths walked by legends, and to immerse themselves in the vibrant cultures of the Southwest, Gallup and the El Rancho Hotel on Route 66 await. It's not just a trip; it's a journey through the heart of America's storied past, where each room tells a story, especially the one where Virginia Mayo once found her desert retreat,  at 1000 E Historic Highway 66, Gallup, NM.

el rancho hotel gallup

4,998 views10 comments

Recent Posts

See All

10 comentários

31 de mar.

Looks like you had a great time


19 de mar.

I’ve wanted to mod those creepy pervy disgusting online wankers all along , especially the one who put a pic of his little thumb with a crusty hangnail lol

Thank you for such informative and interesting presentations and bringing us along with you on your wonderful journeys.

…And for being such a beautiful sight to see my lovely sweet delight.


12 de mar.

Wow I'm more into having fun doing real cool things helping others while enjoying life sometimes we run into these fruitcakes, and just have to keep in moving in a positive wayfun and funny shit🤟🤩I do want to show all but for sure you


12 de mar.

Im interested in all your knowledge and im positive I can add to yours something nobody else has yet to do show you for sure you'll have no doubt in how we have human life u will leave you speechless bo argument pure facts dare you to try me in a liver of life and totally unto truth here's a hint as God collected minerals around his body his veins grew throughout the minerals he collected creating this planet his body of armor at the time it was all salt water God's creation all the life in it and it was freshwater that invaded here a whole another living being made up of freshwater both male female saturating his body…


10 de mar.

I'm waiting

bottom of page