Gallinas River

San Miguel County New Mexico

SFT photo

Photo by Stephen Whitmore

The Gallinas, which begins on the SE slope of 11,661' high Elk Mt., flows SE through steep-walled Upper Gallinas Canyon, past four hot springs near Montezuma, through Las Vegas, SE through steep-walled Lower Gallinas Canyon, toward the Pecos River, 75 mi. from its headwaters. Trout (rainbow and German brown) lure fishermen throughout the year.

The Gallinas, a dependable water source, enabled the early Spanish settlement of Las Vegas to flourish and for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad to build there. For nearly 150 years, the Gallinas separated Old Town from railroad-era New Town, connected only by the aptly named Bridge Street which spanned it.