Situated right at the New Mexico-Arizona border, Lupton
, also known as Painted Cliffs, invites you with high sandstone bluffs, where statuesque figures of deer, bear, and eagles peer down from above. These beautiful cliffs, formed from 60 to 200 million years ago, typify the stark, lonely beauty of the Indian country to the north.
Immediately, you are surrounded by a number of trading posts at the base of the cliffs, selling all manner of Indian treasures. Several of these have been in business since the birth of Route 66, including the Tee-Pee Trading Post. Lupton is also home to the Painted Cliffs Welcome Center, a great visitors' stop on your way into the state.
At about that same time, the National Old Trails Highway was blazed, and in 1926, Route 66
would follow most of the same path. This created tourism opportunities in Lupton and the town sprouted several gas stations and a store. Today, Lupton is called home to just about 25 people.
Photo by Jim Hinckley