The elevation of the town of Madrid is 6,020 ft. but if you want to see the cemetery, you’ll end up going quite a bit higher than that. If you navigate off of Hwy. 14 on to the “back road” through Madrid, and don’t mind some really rough spots on a gravel road that climbs the steep hill, you will be rewarded with a wonderful view of New Mexico sky and a cemetery you’ll never forget.
The cemetery is actually on private land, and in the video link you’ll get a glimpse of a huge white house in the background where the owner lives. But he’s not going to disturb this place or cause a problem for the people in Madrid who want to use it.
I’ve gotten hooked on looking up satellite views lately. A satellite view of the area shows the difference in the crowded older section where the miners are buried (trees there) and the more open space in the newer hippie/cowboy section. If you click on the link and zoom in, the cemetery is to the left of the red balloon. Satellite View.
For an overview of the whole area, take a look at the video I’m linking to at the end. First, here are a series of photos of the cowboy/hippie graves. If you click on each picture you won’t miss any details.
There are a couple of reasons why you might want to watch the videos, at least the first one. (They are less than ten minutes each.) First you’ll get a glimpse of part of the road going up the hill (although it’s too bad there is some awful cowboy music dubbed in on this part.) But the best part is that the visitors who did the film were being shown around by locals who knew the people and who also dug some of the graves. That provides an added perspective about the place that you just can’t capture in a few pictures; you need to hear these people talk about it. It’s very revealing about the kind of people who have made their home here and as well as the people whose graves are here.
Also, you’ll see what kind of physical place this is in a way I can’t capture in a photo. There are also a handful of comments that are worth reading. I hope you’ll check it out.
Part One: http://youtu.be/TKaM_aSM3Es
Part Two: http://youtu.be/tOVr6p3wWmE
I apologize for the lengthiness of this post, but this place, in spite of my only visiting it as a tourist, is quite special to me. I think it shows a much more human and humane way to deal with burial and grief than we usually find, and it’s beautiful there, too. Thank you to “Old Jules” at So Far From Heaven, for taking me there the first time several years ago.
If you’re on the Turquoise Trail, don’t miss it.