How to Visit the Real-life New Mexico Sets of 'Hell or High Water'

Hell or High Water Film Still
Photo: Coman Movie, LLC

“Hell or High Water”—nominated for three Golden Globes, including Best Picture—is often likened to a modern, western version of “Robin Hood.” In the film, two brothers in west Texas team up to rob a bank and save their family ranch.

But in order to save their production budget, film crew headed to eastern New Mexico, just miles from the Texas border, to shoot.

For those who want to relive this old school, western drama, here are the New Mexico spots where the film shot its gunslingin’ fantasies.

Clovis, New Mexico

On the set for Hell or High Water, Clovis, New Mexico
Nicholas Mondragon

The town of Clovis was used for much of the film’s shooting. Much of North Main Street—including a Bill’s Jumbo Burger—was transformed into West Texas. And two of the town’s buildings were transformed into banks waiting to be robbed.

Portales, New Mexico

Film crews took over a few blocks of downtown Portales.

Train Station Door, Portales, New Mexico
Efrain Padro / Alamy

The city has an impressive collection of historic architecture still standing—including the Yam Theatre, which was one of the most modern in the nation when it opened in 1926.

Tucumcari, New Mexico

Tucumcari is an essential stop for anyone traveling down Route 66. The town—with a population of about 6,000 people—shut down a few blocks along the route last year for filming.

Historic Blue Swallow Motel, Tucumcari, New Mexico
miroslav_1/Getty Images

The town is packed with old Americana signage and buildings that look straight out of dust bowl days.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Route 66 Casino and Hotel in Albuquerque stands in for the casino in the film (which is supposed to be in Oklahoma).

The Route 66 Hotel and Casino, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Apparently the parts of the movie filmed here used casino customers and employees as extras in the scenes.

Estancia, New Mexico

In Estancia, rangers set up shop outside the Blue Ribbon Bar & Grill while they wait for the robbers to slip up.

Blue Ribbon Bar and Grill, Estancia, New Mexico
Asaavedra32 via Wikimedia Commons

The restaurant has since been closed, but the building still stands.

Caprock Escarpment in Quay County, New Mexico

Caprock Escarpment stretches from Eastern New Mexico through West Texas.

Bulldog Mesa, near Tucumcari, Caprock Escarpment, Quay County, New Mexico
mzanussi/Getty Images

To capture their fantastic shots of the landform, film crew went along New Mexico’s Route 156.

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