Glenrio, Texas on Historic Route 66

Present day Exit 0 from I-40 to Glenrio, on the Texas - New Mexico border
Present day Exit 0 from I-40 to Glenrio, on the Texas - New Mexico border

 

Happy Motoring! Abandoned ESSO service station at Glenrio, Texas on Historic Route 66
Happy Motoring! Abandoned ESSO service station at Glenrio, Texas on the north side of Interstate 40

Directly on the Texas - New Mexico border at Exit 0 is the abandoned ghost town of Glenrio. The townsite still has noticeable traces of Route 66 and the motels and restaurants that used to thrive there before the arrival of I-40. Just west of Glenrio, Route 66 bridges are still visible to the alert I-40 traveler.

Originally a railroad town, the village was renamed from Rock Island to Glenrio by the Rock Island and Pacific Railroad in 1908, and began receiving motorists driving the Ozark Trail in 1917. Its original structures were adobe buildings.

The town's location straddling the state line created a variety of unusual circumstances.

Although a post office was established on the New Mexico side of the community, the depot where the mail arrived was on the Texas side. There were no bars on the Texas side of the community, since Deaf Smith County was dry, and no service stations were located on the New Mexico side because of that state's higher gasoline tax.

The Rock Island Railroad depot closed in 1955, and the opening of Interstate 40 in 1975 further accelerated the demise of Glenrio.

Today it includes the Glenrio Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. The district emcompasses the Route 66 roadbed and 17 abandoned structures.

Remains can still be seen of an old motel, cafe, service station, the post office, and a few other buildings, as well as the old Route 66 roadbed. Some structures are posted, so in respect for owners and residents, please observe any "No Trespassing" signs.

 

The old Route 66 then continued westward from Glenrio through San Jon, Tucumcari, Montoya, the ghost town of Cuervo and Santa Rosa.

Abandoned Little Juarez Cafe in Glenrio
Abandoned Little Juarez Cafe in Glenrio


The State Line Motel and Bar ... the "First in Texas" or "Last in Texas" depending on which direction the traveler was headed
The "First Motel in Texas" located in Glenrio on US Route 66
Glenrio, Texas sign on present-day I-40 Business Route
Glenrio, Texas sign at present-day I-40 Busines

 

Old gas station and white Pontiac in Glenrio, Texas
Old gas station and white Pontiac in Glenrio, Texas

 

Historic Route 66 right-of-way in Glenrio, Texas
Historic Route 66 right-of-way in Glenrio, Texas

Historic Route 66 bridge just west of Glenrio, Texas
Historic Route 66 bridge just west of Glenrio, Texas


Driving West
on the Next Route 66 Segment?

Tucumcari to Santa Fe

Route 66 Road Trip westbound from Tucumcari to Santa Fe, New Mexico

 

Entering New Mexico at Glenrio

Need a break while driving on I-40 and Route 66? Stop at the very well done Glenrio Visitor Center operated by New Mexico DOT.

The staff is friendly and knowledgable, and there is amble travel information, maps and brochures about New Mexico and Route 66 travel stops. Plus clean restrooms and water. Highly recommended!

Glenrio Visitor Center operated by New Mexico DOT

 

More Route 66 and Travel-Related Resources

 


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