MetroABQ Blog

Found Alongside The Highway: The Camino de Sueños Sculpture

Cultural Corridors

On what some may call a lonely strip of interstate highway (not me), just 20 scenic miles south of Socorro, NM, stands a solitary, surreal sculpture. The ~30-foot-tall steel & laminated glass artwork can be seen from miles away, dramatically increasing in size as you approach.

Called Camino de Sueños& installed in 2005, the monumental work is a Cultural Corridors public art project, installed along El Camino Real National Scenic Byway, in 2005. Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, it's surrounded by fields of desert grasses & cacti grasses, & spiny mesquite bushes.

The artist, Greg Reiche, wrote:"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not." Ralph Waldo Emerson (The text above is incorporated within this monumental work & is only visible if one exits their car & walks through the piece itself.)

And: "I felt it was important to entice viewers into the physical environment so that they might get a sense of the sights, smells, beauty & challenges of the native desert environment. Removed from the air conditioned comfort of ones vehicle, & walking through the artwork, you can get a sense of the challenges faced by earlier travelers along the road. Standing within the piece itself, & looking up, you are engulfed in the column of blue light expanding upward into the infinite space of the azure blue desert sky."

Above: In the foreground is the Camino de Sueños sculpture from about 50 feet away; I'm facing southeast. The Fra Cristobals, a 21-mile-long mountain range abutting Elephant Butte Lake sits in the background, only about 40 miles more to go...Cool place.

The trick is getting there...

Getting there from here...

The Camino de Sueños sculpture is about an hour & twenty minutes south of the MetroABQ. It stands immediately off the highway on the north-bound Fort Craig Rest Area--easy to find & easy to get to. Unfortunately, most people never make it...

Here's why:Re-read the artist's statement above, about being "removed from the air conditioned comfort of ones vehicle." The sculpture was purposely installed about a quarter of a mile east from an Interstate 25 rest-stop. The catch is: there is no quick way to drive from one to the other; the roads do not connect at the rest area. See the map above.

If it's imperative that you drive, the best way to the monument from the rest area is a three mile round-trip drive heading north to the next exit, then south on Route 1 to the art installation.

Coming from the south to the desert sculpture, take the exit before the sculpture & enjoy the fantastically scenic route up Route 1, which zigs & zags along both sides of the interstate. Note that to reach that rest area, you must be on the correct side of the highway, driving north up I-25...

Or, while parked at the rest area, you can easily walk to the sculpture, as the artist intended.

It's a great, imposing creation, well worth the walk. Also, fab views from the sculpture facing north, toward the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge; & south, toward the Fra Cristobal mountains adjacent to Elephant Butte Lake.

Below is the sculpture facing toward the Fort Craig Rest Area...

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