For nearly 300 years, from the late 16th century until the coming of the railroad, El Camino Real served as the main link between the frontier communities of New Mexico and Spain’s colonial centers in Mexico. Today, much of the historic wagon road lies beneath modern roads and highways. Visitors can learn how the modern Southwest developed along this ancient route at many places, including Santa Fe’s History Museum, Palace of the Governor’s, and El Rancho de Las Golondrinas.
El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail stretches from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo south to Santa Fe, Bernalillo, Albuquerque, Socorro, Las Cruces, and El Paso, Texas, following the Rio Grande valley below Santa Fe. Below El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico, the route continues on to Mexico City.