Gallup is located in northwest New Mexico, near the Four Corners region. Gallup is situated midway between Albuquerque, NM, and Flagstaff, AZ on Interstate 40 and is bisected by historic U.S. Highway 66.
Gallup is the county seat of McKinley County. The county was created in 1901 and named after President William McKinley. The entirety of McKinley county has a population of approximately 71,367 while Gallup is made up with a population of approximately 21,678.
Several archeological sites near Gallup record the presence of Ancestral Puebloans, a prehistoric farming culture that developed and persisted in the area from 300 to 1200 CE. From 1700 to the present, members of the Navajo tribe and the Zuni Pueblo have inhabited nearby the region. Gallup's area was known as an epicenter of trade, making it a hub for visits from neighboring Hopi, Apache, Laguna, and Acoma tribes as well.
Over its history, Gallup has earned itself more than a few monikers. Some include:
- "Indian Capital of the World"- Gallup's area is responsible for more than 70% of the nation's Native American jewelry manufacturing, not to mention Navajo/Dine' rugs, pottery from several tribes, paintings, and more. Gallup houses the largest wholesale Native American art business sector in the United States. Check out the wide range of Native American art available in Gallup!
- "Adventure Capital of New Mexico"- Gallup was declared the Adventure Capital of New Mexico by the State of New Mexico legislature in 2011. Gallup's rich outdoor sector has something for everyone: rock climbing, hiking & biking trails, golf, a shooting range, ohv/atv riding, and more.
- "America's Most Patriotic Small Town"- In 2013 & 2014, Gallup was selected as American's Most Patriotic Small Town by Rand McNally. Our community is proud to continue celebrating our veterans and honoring the legacy of those who have served. The Navajo Codetalkers, who were instrumental in turning the tides in WWII, departed from the train station in Gallup in 1942. There are many local places where we encourage you to take a moment and pay respects to veterans of our area, to share a piece of your own history serving, and more.
Gallup is about 20 square miles. We have one of the longest continuous stretches of Route 66 in New Mexico, at about 13.5 miles. Our community sits both north and south of Interstate 40.
According to the data available from the US Census Bureau in July of 2021, Gallup's population is 21,899. When you see that number it may seem small, but that is because Gallup acts as the major retail and services hub for over 100 miles into the region. At certain times within a month, Gallup's population can swell to well over 100K. Gallup's population mix includes 44% Native American, 36.5% White, 33.2% Hispanic or Latino, 3.1% Asian, and more.
Source: US Census Bureau, Gallup NM Quick Facts
The first place to start if you're looking to open a business in Gallup is the Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation. They have a wealth of information and expertise about the region, sites, workforce, key industries, and more.
Entrepreneurs should touch base with the UNM Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The Gallup SBDC provides potential or existing businesses with one-on-one business counseling at no cost, start-up advice for the new business, developing a business plan, and free or low-cost workshops. Take advantage of the wealth of information and training available on a variety of business-related topics. All client information is treated in a strictly confidential manner.
Another great resource in Gallup for entrepreneurs or new businesses looking for tools is the Gallup Mainstreet Arts & Cultural District Business Hub. The Mainstreet Business Hub offers desk space for entrepreneurs & freelancers, a meeting area, equipment, training, and workshops available to help new and existing business owners.
The Gallup McKinley County Chamber of Commerce is the leading agency in Gallup with regard to leadership training, business advocacy with local and state governments, and networking Gallup businesses together to address local strengths, weaknesses, and seek a better business future in Gallup.
The Gallup Business Improvement District is a non-profit organization that partners with downtown property owners, downtown merchants, the City of Gallup, and the broader community to enhance business development, energize our downtown district.
Gallup is not a dry town. Packaged alcoholic beverages may be sold between 7:00 a.m. and midnight, Monday through Saturday but prohibited on Sunday (and Christmas Day.) Alcohol is served in bars and restaurants between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and between 10:00 a.m. and midnight on Sundays.
Source: New Mexico's Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Division
There are several notable things about this small city:
- The area is filled with historic buildings and architectural relics from the days of the wild, wild, west.
- Gallup is at the apex of several Native American ancestral homelands.
- Red Rock Park is about eight miles east of downtown Gallup, a park that offers a variety of cultural and recreational activities including the Red Rock Balloon Rally.
- But, Gallup is perhaps best known for its trading posts.
One of the last communities in the Southwest to preserve its trading post culture, Gallup is home to a number of authentic markets dealing in jewelry, rugs, pottery, and art made by local Native Americans in the community. To better understand the trading process, visit one of our historic trading companies such as Richardson's Trading Post, for a tour and more information about the significance of the trading system.