U.S. 40 - Continental Divide - New Mexico.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member veritas vita
N 35° 25.388 W 108° 18.562
12S E 744283 N 3923294
The Continental Divide, is the highest point on US.40 in New Mexico. Two Historic Markers confirm the elevation as 7,263 feet. The markers are located each side of US.40 at Junction 47, McKinley County, New Mexico.
Waymark Code: WMMMPP
Location: New Mexico, United States
Date Posted: 10/10/2014
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member kbarhow
Views: 22

Two New Mexico historic markers, named 'Continental Divide' are located one each side of U.S.40 at junction 47. They display the elevation as 7,263 feet.
There are also two elevation signs on the front of the Indian Market, showing diagrams of the water flow directions. I have shown both in the gallery of this listing.
At the location of junction 47, There is a natural formation, known as The Continental Divide. There are several unofficial elevation markers, signs, and an official New Mexico historic marker, confirming the elevation, at over 7,200 feet. This makes it of significant interest to the National Road traveller, as it makes it a "Must-Stop" and perhaps a photo opportunity at the location at the highest point

Continental Divide is the name of tiny Community, and a Geological feature.

According to the National Parks Web Site, the area has an elevation of 7,263 feet. The Historic marker plaques give the elevation as 7,245 feet. The Indian Trading Post at the site claims, 7,295. so its fairly safe to say the Continental Divide is at an elevation of over 7,200 feet, making it the highest point on The National Road & Route 66.

As it is the Highest point along the backbone of America, in New Mexico all water to the West of this location flows into the the Pacific, and to the East the water flows into the Atlantic, or the Mississippi, and the Gulf of Mexico.

From Wikipedia:
"Continental Divide is an unincorporated community in McKinley County, New Mexico, United States. Continental Divide is located along Interstate 40 25.1 miles (40.4 km) east-southeast of Gallup. Continental Divide has a post office with ZIP code 87312" Text source: (visit link)

Info on Milan to Continental Divide segment of Route 66, from the National Parks web site:
"This 31.4-mile segment was designated as State Highway 6 in 1914 and a part of the National Old Trails Highway, a trans-regional road association that preceded the creation of the Federal highway system in 1926. The road’s climb out of the Rio San Jose drainage toward Continental Divide takes motorists out of an area that was known for its irrigated agriculture, especially carrots, in the 1940s. The discovery of uranium and development of nearby mines in the 1950s is evident in distant tailing piles and settling ponds near Bluewater. As the road begins to climb toward the Continental Divide, the highest point on Route 66 with an elevation of 7,263 feet, pastures give way to a pinyon and juniper landscape with Navajo homesteads, trading posts, and other businesses periodically lining the roadside. From Prewitt westward, Entrada sandstone cliffs parallel the road to the north, offering a stretch of spectacular unbroken red sandstone extending to the Arizona border. This roadbed remained gravel until the 1930s, when Federal funding resulted in projects to realign and pave the highway. Among these improvements was the elimination of two grade crossings by realigning the highway entirely south of the AT&SF Railway line. As a result, Thoreau and other villages, which prospered with roadside commerce in the 1920s, saw businesses disappear or relocate in the late 1930s, when Route 66 no longer passed along the towns’ main streets." Text Source:
(visit link)

U.S.40, Continental Divide, McKinley County, NM 87312, USA.
Americana: Sign

Significant Interest: Natural Formation

Milestone / Marker: Historical Marker

Web Address: [Web Link]

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