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Santa Fe National Historic Trail

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Between 1821 and 1880, the Santa Fe Trail was primarily a commercial highway connecting Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. From 1821 until 1846, it was an international commercial highway used by Mexican and American traders. In 1846, the Mexican-American War began. The Army of the West followed the Santa Fe Trail to invade New Mexico. When the Treaty of Guadalupe ended the war in 1848, the Santa Fe Trail became a national road connecting the United States to the new southwest territories. Commercial freighting along the trail continued, including considerable military freight hauling to supply the southwestern forts. The trail was also used by stagecoach lines, thousands of gold seekers heading to the California and Colorado gold fields, adventurers, fur trappers, and emigrants. In 1880 the railroad reached Santa Fe and the trail faded into history.

The Santa Fe National Historic Trail is administered by the National Park Service in partnership with other federal, state, and local agencies; non-profit organizations; and private landowners. Participating national historic trail sites display the official trail logo.

The Santa Fe Trail Association is a major partner with the National Park Service. The association is a national organization dedicated to the preservation, public awareness, and appreciation of the Santa Fe Trail.

   

CONTACTS

Email - LODI_Administration@nps.gov

Fax- (505) 986-5214

Write to
Long Distance Trails Group Office-Santa Fe
P.O. Box 728
Santa Fe, NM 87504-0728

Phone
Visitor Information - (505) 988-6888

TRAVEL BASICS

Operating Hours, Seasons
Hours vary from site to site. Contact individual site owners/managers for more information. For trail brochures and a complete list of certified sites, contact the National Park Service, Long Distance Trails Group Office - Santa Fe . The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed on holidays and weekends.

Getting There
PLANE - You can reach the trail by flying into a number of airports, including Kansas City, Jefferson City, and St. Louis, Missouri; Wichita, Topeka, Dodge City, Great Bend, and Garden City, Kansas; Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo, Colorado.

CAR - You can reach most trail sites by auto or bicycle, or on foot. Some sites are along unpaved roads.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - Commercial bus service is available to many cities and towns along the trail.

Weather & Climate
Summers in Missouri and Kansas tend to be hot and humid. Colorado, Oklahoma, and New Mexico are hot and dry in the summer. Winters are variable and can be somewhat mild, although cold and windy conditions with heavy snow are possible. Many trail sites are undeveloped and lack protection from sun, wind, rain, snow, etc. Dress warmly in winter. Beware of sun over-exposure in summer. Watch out for lightning during storms.

Accessibility
National Park Service areas along the Santa Fe National Historic Trail, including Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, Fort Larned National Historic Site, Fort Union National Monument, and Pecos National Historical Park, generally meet accessibility standards for people with disabilities. However, because of the varied nature and rural character of the many certified sites that make up the Santa Fe National Historic Trail, it is best that you inquire locally about accessibility when contacting specific sites for visitation information.

Getting Around
An auto tour route has been marked along major highways that closely follow the original trail route. Follow the signs exhibiting the distinctive orange and maroon Santa Fe National Historic Trail logo. Use guidebooks, ask locally, or check the 'inDEPTH' pages on this website for directions to individual trail sites.

FEES/PERMITS

Entrance Fee
SANTA FE NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL

There are no user or entry fees for the Santa Fe National Historic Trail. Nominal fees may be charged at some trail-related private, state, and locally owned historic sites and interpretive facilities. Entry fees are charged at the four National Park Service areas located along the Santa Fe National Historic Trail.

FACILITIES

CITY OF LAS VEGAS MUSEUM - NEW MEXICO
Open All Year
Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, and1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
May through October: Sunday, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. , and Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Phone - (505) 454-1401, ext. 283
Location - The museum is at 727 Grand Avenue in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
Closures - Closed Saturday and Sunday, from November through April.
Exhibits - Artifact-rich museum exhibits interpret the history of Las Vegas and the Santa Fe Trail, and regional history. The Rough Rider Memorial Collection contains artifacts and mementos owned by members of the First Regiment, United States Volunteer Cavalry, during the Spanish-American War.
Available Facilities - The museum contains an archive of local and regional history items, and a museum shop featuring work by traditional local craftspeople and recording artists, educational toys, and books of regional and historical interest. The museum, archive, and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. The city of Las Vegas and Friends of the Museum operate the complex, a certified interpretive facility on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail.

CORONADO-QUIVIRA MUSEUM - KANSAS
Open All Year
Monday through Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Phone - (620) 257-3941
Location - The museum is at 105 West Lyon, in Lyons, Kansas.
Closures - Closed on major holidays.
Exhibits - Exhibits interpret the history of prehistoric American Indians, Spanish exploration, the Santa Fe Trail, and Rice County homesteaders and settlers.
Available Facilities - The museum complex contains a library and archives. The museum and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. The Rice County Historical Society operates the complex, a certified interpretive facility on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail.

MORTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM - KANSAS
Open All Year
Memorial Day to Labor Day, Tuesday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Labor Day to Memorial Day, Tuesday through Friday, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday by appointment
Phone - (620) 697-2833
Location - The museum is on U.S. Highway 56 East, in Elkhart, Kansas.
Closures - Closed on Monday.
Exhibits - Exhibits interpret the Santa Fe Trail and the history of Morton County. Featured are two Santa Fe Trail murals by artist Charles Goslin.
Available Facilities - The museum contains an archive, media room (with county newspapers), and library. A railroad caboose, school, barn, and war memorial are on the grounds. The museum and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. The Morton County Historical Society operates the museum complex, a certified interpretive facility on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail.

NATIONAL FRONTIER TRAILS CENTER - MISSOURI
Open All Year
Monday through Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone - (816) 325-7575
Location - The center is at 318 West Pacific Street (between Osage and Spring streets), in Independence, Missouri.
Exhibits - Exhibits interpret the history of the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California trails, which began in or near Independence.
Available Facilities - The center contains exhibits; archives (the Merrill J. Mattes Research Library); and artifacts related to the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California trails. All facilities are accessible for people with disabilities. The Oregon-California Trails Association is headquartered in the center, operated by the City of Independence. The center is a certified interpretive facility on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail.

PALACE OF THE GOVERNORS MUSEUM - NEW MEXICO
Open All Year
Tuesday through Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday evenings, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Phone - (505) 476-5100
Location - The Palace of the Governors Museum is at 105 W. Palace Avenue, on the plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Closures - Closed on Monday.
Special Programs - Guided walks and tours of the historic Santa Fe Plaza are available. Educational and outreach programs are provided.
Exhibits - Permanent and revolving exhibits interpret Santa Fe and New Mexico history and culture.
Available Facilities - A restored historic building houses exhibits, archives, and a research library relating to the history of New Mexico. Facilities include a museum shop and meeting rooms, which are wheelchair accessible. The Palace of the Governors Museum is the state history museum for New Mexico, and is one of four museums comprising the Museum of New Mexico system. The Palace of the Governors is a certified site on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail.

SANTA FE TRAIL CENTER - KANSAS
Open All Year
Daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday through Sunday, after Labor Day until Memorial Day, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Phone - (316) 285-2054
Location - The center is on the south side of Kansas Route 156, 2 miles west of Larned, Kansas.
Closures - Closed on Mondays after Labor Day until Memorial Day. Closed on Thanksgiving, December 25, and January 1.
Exhibits - Museum exhibits interpret the Santa Fe Trail and local history through displays of historical photographs and artifacts. A replica sod house and other structures are on the grounds.
Available Facilities - The center contains a museum, archives, and a research library. The museum and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. The Santa Fe Trail Association is headquartered in the center. The Fort Larned Historical Society, Inc., operates the center, which is accredited by the American Association of Museums. The center is a certified interpretive facility on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail.

TRINIDAD HISTORY MUSEUM - COLORADO
Daily, May 1 through September 30 (including holidays and weekends), from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (last tour)
Phone - (719) 846-7217
Location - The Trinidad History Museum is in the El Coraz?n de Trinidad National Historic District at 300 East Main Street, Trinidad, Colorado.
Closures - Closed during the winter season (October through April). Group tours (12 or more) are available with reservations during the off-season.
Special Programs - Museum staff provide tours for large groups with reservations. Special tours and hands-on activities are available for youth and school groups.
Exhibits - Exhibits in the Santa Fe Trail Museum interpret regional history and the Santa Fe Trail through displays of historic photographs and artifacts.
Available Facilities - The complex includes a museum, bookstore, and two historic houses - the Baca House, which is trail-related, and the Bloom Mansion. A Trinidad and Santa Fe Trail Info Center will open in December 2001. The museum, bookstore, and restrooms are wheelchair acessible. The Colorado Historical Society operates the complex, a certified site on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail.

  Map
map
Detailed Map


Contact Info
contact info
Phone, Email, Address, GPS coordinates


Campgrounds Nearby
campgrounds
List of Nearby Campgrounds


Weather
weather
Local weather forecast


OUTDOORS
These outdoors activities are available near Santa Fe National Historic Trail.
 Campgrounds Near Santa Fe National Historic Trail:
Road Runner RV Park, Santa Fe, 2 miles away
Buffalo Thunder Casino and Resort, Santa FE, 3 miles away
Cities Of Gold Casino and Hotel, Santa Fe, 5 miles away
Nambe Falls Recreation Area - Nambé Pueblo, Tesuque, 6 miles away
Tesuque Pueblo RV Campground, Santa Fe, 7 miles away
Pinon, Santa Fe, 9 miles away
Trailer Ranch, Santa Fe, 9 miles away
 Hotels Near Santa Fe National Historic Trail:
Homewood Suites By Hilton Santa Fe-North, Santa Fe , 3 miles away
Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder, Santa Fe , 3 miles away
Four Seasons Resort Santa Fe, Santa Fe , 5 miles away
Cities Of Gold Casino Hotel, Santa Fe , 5 miles away
The Lodge At Santa Fe, Santa Fe , 7 miles away
Bishops Lodge Resort And Spa, Santa Fe , 7 miles away
Villas De Santa Fe, Santa Fe , 7 miles away
 Trails Near Santa Fe National Historic Trail:
Rio en Medio Trail, Santa Fe County , 9 miles away
Chamiza Trail, Santa Fe County , 10 miles away
Bear Wallow Trail, Santa Fe County , 11 miles away
Atalaya Trail, Santa Fe County , 11 miles away
Borrego Trail, Santa Fe County , 11 miles away
 Ski Areas Near Santa Fe National Historic Trail:
Ski Santa Fe, New Mexico , 13 miles away, 1725 foot drop, 7 lifts, 69 runs
Pajarito Mountain, New Mexico , 28 miles away, 1410 foot drop, 7 lifts, 37 runs
Sipapu, New Mexico , 36 miles away, 1055 foot drop, 4 lifts, 31 runs
Sandia Peak, New Mexico , 45 miles away, 1700 foot drop, 6 lifts, 30 runs
Taos, New Mexico , 58 miles away, 2612 foot drop, 13 lifts, 110 runs
Angel Fire, New Mexico , 59 miles away, 2077 foot drop, 7 lifts, 74 runs
Red River, New Mexico , 64 miles away, 1600 foot drop, 7 lifts, 58 runs
 Whitewater Near Santa Fe National Historic Trail:
Whitewater Outfitter - Santa Fe Rafting Outfitters, Santa Fe County , 8 miles away, Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Kokopelli Rafting Adventures, Santa Fe County , 8 miles away, Whitewater outfitter
Rio Santa Cruz, Santa Fe County , 11 miles away, Class IV-V - 1 miles long (Cundiyo to Santa Cruz Reservoir)
Rio Grande, Sandoval County , 11 miles away, Class III - 24 miles long (Otowi Bridge to Cochiti Reservoir)
Whitewater Outfitter - Known World Guide Service, Rio Arriba County , 20 miles away, Whitewater outfitter
 Public Lands Near Santa Fe National Historic Trail:
Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos - NM , 20 miles away
Petroglyph National Monument, Albuquerque - NM , 62 miles away
Fort Union National Monument, Watrous - NM , 69 miles away
Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico , 10 miles away
Hyde Memorial State Park, New Mexico , 11 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Santa Fe National Historic Trail:
TOWA Golf Course, Santa Fe , 3 miles away
Club At Las Campanas, Santa Fe , 7 miles away
Santa Fe Country Club, Santa Fe , 8 miles away
Municipal Recreation Center, Santa Fe , 10 miles away
Black Mesa 1 Golf Course, Espanola , 10 miles away
 Lakes Near Santa Fe National Historic Trail
Talaya Hill Reservoir, Santa Fe County , 9 miles away
Nichols Reservoir, Santa Fe County , 10 miles away

Copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. - Pictures of park and text about park by the US National Park Service. Operating hours and fees are valid at the date of publishing and are subject to change, please contact park directly for current information.