El Camino Real Historic Trail Site
Step back in time and join us on a journey along the historic El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the Royal Road of the Interior Lands. This 1500-mile historic trade route that extends from Mexico City to San Juan Pueblo/Ohkay Owingeh, is one of the oldest trails in the United States, and for more than a century, one of the longest. Designated a national historic trail in 1993, it is one of New Mexico's most important cultural artifacts.
Using a series of Native American footpaths used for trade between the indigenous people of Tenochititlán/Mexico City and Chaco, Spanish explorer Juan de Oñate "blazed" the northern portion of the trail into what is now New Mexico in 1598, and claimed the land for Spain.
El Camino Real Historic Trail Site tells the fascinating story of more than three centuries of cross cultural trade and commerce. By foot, oxen, mule, and railroad train, the trail linked Spain, Mexico, and the United States.
The award-winning building is set amidst the pristine Chihuahuan Desert north of the Jornada del Muerto and houses a remarkable exhibit that takes visitors on a virtual journey along the historic trail from Zacatecas, Mexico to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Discover the indigenous people encountered by the Spanish and the impact the arrival of the Spanish had on the formation of New Mexico. Remnants of the early journey remain today in hand-hewn carts, tools, leather water jugs, and religious altars and objects that accompanied the travelers into the northern territory.
Venture through art and artifacts, previous treasure from the frontier of New Spain. Experience the journeys of Native Americans, Spaniards, Mexicans, the military fort period and the first Anglo settlers from the Eastern United States, through first-person stories and the art and objects they brought with them. Discover the conflict, the confluence of cultures, and the ideas that have forged New Mexico, the Southwest, and the nation.
Discover your roots. . . travel the trail.
Hours and Days of Operation:
Open 8:30am - 5:00pm Wednesday through Sunday. Closed Mondays & Tuesdays.
Closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
$5. Free to NM residents on the first Sunday of each month. Children 16 and under are always admitted free. Wednesday admission is free to New Mexico Seniors with ID.