ABO CANYON (elevation 5771 ft.), also known as ABO PASS, is a
mountain pass at the southern end of the
Manzano Mountains of central
New Mexico .
* 1 History
* 2 Railroad
* 3 Highway
* 4 Abo Pass Trail
* 5 References
* 6 External links
From pre-Columbian times, the pass provided the most direct trading
route through the mountains between the plains Indians of the Estancia
Valley to the east and the pueblo cultures of the middle valley of the
Rio Grande to the west. The route these traders took led past Abo
Pueblo , dating from the 14th century, strategically located near a
cluster of springs on the eastern slope of the pass. The old footpath
is now the Abo Pass Trail Scenic Byway (see External Links below).
The Spanish arrived in the 16th century, and used the pass as a route
Rio Grande valley and the three “salt missions” they
constructed northeast of the pass, now ruins preserved as part of the
Pueblo Missions National Monument .
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway bridge
across Abo Canyon, circa 1905-1908. Sand Canyon is in background.
BNSF priority train enters
Abo Canyon on the original AT&SF main.
The new track through the canyon is on the left.
In the early 20th century, the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad
wished to find an alternative route to its existing mainline over
Raton and Glorieta Passes, to avoid the gradients of up to 3.5% on
these passes. The company surveyed a route through the Abo Canyon,
which could be achieved with a gradient of no more than 1.25%. Known
Belen Cutoff , the route was completed in 1908, connecting to
the AT&SF system at Belen,
New Mexico and at
Amarillo, Texas . The
Cutoff rapidly took on the bulk of the AT">
* ^ Myrick, David ‘’New Mexico’s Railroads: A Historical
Survey’’, University of
New Mexico Press, 1990
* ^ Frailey, Fred W., "Birthplace of the Transcon," Trains
Magazine, April 2007.
* ^ Hardin, Paul "Railroading Abo Pass," El Defensor Chieftain
Newspaper (Socorro, NM) December 3, 2011
* ^ Abo Pass Trail.
New Mexico Tourism Department. Retrieved August
* ^ Abo Pass Trail.
New Mexico Department of Transportation.
Retrieved August 10, 2014.
* ^ Abo Pass Trail -
New Mexico Scenic ">Coordinates :
34°26′08″N 106°27′32″W / 34.43556°N 106.45889°W /