If you live in New Mexico, chances are you’ve made a stop at Clines Corners Travel Center on Route 66. Clines Corners is a gas station, an RV Park, and like the sign says, has been serving travelers since 1934!
Why is Clines Corners so famous as a stop in New Mexico, and to others traveling through our beautiful state?
Read on to find out!
In 1934, Roy E. Cline, the founder, wanted to have a place for, “weary travelers to stop, shop, and eat.”
At the time, Mr. Cline likely didn’t know he was creating what would become a New Mexico institution, but he built his Travel Center between Moriarty and Santa Rosa at the intersection of New Mexico state highways 2 and 6, and has been doing great business ever since.
Route 66, The Mother Road
In addition to being at the intersection of two state highways, Clines Corners has the benefit of being on Route 66, The Mother Road. Still famous to this day, Route 66 has been drawing travelers and adventurers from around the globe to its legendary trip from Chicago to L.A.
Sitting in a roadside cafe along Route 66, you can hear people speaking different languages on their trips. Packs of motorcyclists from Europe, road trippers from South America, Americans from across the country, are all drawn to Route 66 and its now iconic attractions and historical sites to see.
But… what is it about Clines Corners that we overheard a server at a restaurant in Albuquerque recently proclaim, “You aren’t a New Mexican until you’ve had your own Clines Corners experience, you need to get on out there!”
Clines Corners: Getting There
Before we get to what you can find at Clines Corners, we need to consider the roadside billboards. Route 66 has billboards all along the way advertising various businesses in different states, and Clines is no different.
Miles before you get to Clines Corners, you will see billboards advertising for it. Whether you are approaching from the east or west, you’ll see the iconic, tall red sign standing amongst the sun soaked prairie and the top of it proclaiming , ‘TRAVEL CENTER,’ in bold yellow letters.
When exiting the highway, you pass the entrance for the RV Park, or you can continue to the main parking lot where you can purchase gas and/or go into the main store.
The RV park is new as of 2020, and has 36 full service pull through sites for RV travelers with all the hookups for power. Oftentimes you will see Clines Corners RV park full, as it continues to be the perfect place to stop along a journey down the Mother Road.
30,000 feet of Retail
If you are looking for a New Mexico themed gift, or some fudge, this is your place. Clines Corners makes their own fudge, and it has proven a hit with travelers.
You can purchase quite a bit in Clines Corners. There are racks and racks of t-shirts, Native American jewelry, thimbles (they are famous for thimbles) and more.
Showers are available for those needing them, as is a laundromat.
If you’d like your fortune told, you can also consult Zoltar. Or an Alien. (You have to go to see!)
A “Clines Corners Experience”
If you ask a New Mexican, chances are they have their own Clines Corners story. Most people just stop for gas, and as their general manager has been quoted, “People stop for gas, and they spend $20 on souvenirs. If they’re hungry, they eat.”
Driving Route 66, parts of it are far away from everywhere else, and the positioning of Clines Corners has made it popular with weary travelers needing a place to stop.
As that server in Albuquerque put it,, “At one point or another, we have all broken down near Clines Corners, or we’ve been on a road trip and needed to sleep. It’s a great place.”
His sentiment nailed it. Sure, at first glance, Clines Corners looks like just another truck stop, albeit with some cool looking signage.
Once you pull into the lot, park, and walk around, you start realize it’s so much more: you’ll see families in RVs parking for a few days and having fun, a group of bikers having a sandwich and trading stories about their journey, and even some bicyclists that travel Route 66 and like to stop at Clines.
So then, New Mexico, to answer the question, when does a travel oasis become a point of state pride?
Why not take a trip out to Clines Corners and find out for yourself?