In the heart of New Mexico’s ranching country lie the towns of Datil, Pie Town and Quemado. A day’s ride apart atop a covered wagon or on the back of a lively paint, these small ranching towns dot U.S. Highway 60 in the central western edge of the state. Ranching is a mainstay and the heart and soul of the American west are alive and well.
The Datil Mountains dominate the scenery where the wildlife far out number the population of people in the area. The town of Datil sits at 7,500 feet above sea level. The landscape of semi-arid bush and grasses are punctuated with juniper and piÃ±on trees where temperatures vary from freezing to about 70 degrees. The weather is close to perfect with a whopping 350 days of sunshine a year.
Elk, deer, bear and wild turkey hunting are popular during the autumn and winter months. Other outdoor recreational activities include hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and camping.
Located on the Continental Divide 22 miles west of Datil, Pie Town is proud of its 55 inhabitants. During the early days of the automobile, Pie Town’s only gas station and café began selling pies to travelers along Highway 60 thus earning its name. Each year on the second Saturday in September, the Pie Town Pie Festival attracts more than a thousand visitors for hot air balloons, pie-eating contests, music, arts and crafts, a pie-baking contest, and an old-fashioned western barbeque.
Pushing a bit further west along Route 60, the town of Quemado is nestled at an elevation of 6,970 feet. Quemado, named for the Spanish word for “burned.” When Jose Antonio Padilla settled by a creek east of the present town in 1880, he found that the surrounding brush had been burned by the Indians, so he named it Rito Quemado. This town is now the primary service center for the ranchers and town residents in the area with a population of about 250 folks. Just south of the Apache National Forest lies Quemado Lake, a popular destination for trout fisherman, campers and hikers.
Specializes in pie and a fun, quirky ambiance.
PO Box 656
Pie Town, NM 87827
Directions: Located at the thunderbird in Pie Town, NM mile marker 56.5 US Hwy 60
The Daily Pie Café
Pie Town, NM 87827
Closed Mondays, T-Th 8am-3pm, F&S 8am-8pm, Sunday breakfast 10-noon, Old fashioned Sunday dinner noon-5pm