Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway
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Team working at the 1999 New Mexico
Governor's Conference on Tourism

 Team at 1999 NM Governor's Conference on Tourism

According to our nomination form for a National Scenic Byway, an intrinsic quality "means scenic, historic, recreation, cultural, archaeological, or natural features that are considered representative, unique, irreplaceable, or distinctly characteristic of an area." The Turquoise Trail has all six qualities. The following definitions are from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Community Guide to Planning & Managing a Scenic Byway. We also included a couple (of more than fifty) of Turquoise Trail Intrinsic Qualities we know to exist.

Archeological: Visual evidence of the unique customs, traditions, folklores, or rituals of a no-longer existing human group. Tijeras Pueblo, Sandia Cave

Cultural: Visual evidence of the unique customs, traditions, folklores, or rituals of a currently existing human group. Madrid Art Community. The CCC projects.

Historic: Landscapes, buildings, structures, or other visual evidence of the past. It has to be something that can still be seen - not just the site of something that used to be there. Holy Child Church, San Antonio Church and Cemetery, Madid Historic District.

Natural: Minimal human disturbance of the natural ecological features that are associated with the region. The only place in the USA with both anthracite and bituminous coal. The National Forest Preserve.

Recreational: The road corridor itself is used for recreation like jogging, biking, roadside picnics, or direct access to recreational sites like campgrounds, lakes, ski lodges, etc. Sandia Peak Tram. Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Course.

Scenic: Beauty, whether natural or human-made. The quality of the features are measured by how memorable, distinctive, uninterrupted, and unified they are. The view from Sandia Crest. The communication towers on top of Sandia Crest.

If you have a favorite intrinsic quality on the Turquoise Trail, please let us know what it is and where it is. We don't want to miss any!