During your visit to northeastern New Mexico,enjoy the scenic beauty while taking part in the many outdoor recreational opportunities along the Santa Fe Trail. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history and archeology, shop for antiques, visit a local museum ,library or art gallery, savor a cup of espresso, or enjoy a live performance or movie at one of the many historical theaters along the way.
Thank you for visiting the New Mexico Santa Fe Trail National Scenic Byway website. There are many websites which tell the history of the Santa Fe Trail, and although we share a little bit of the history on this website, its main purpose is to give visitors an idea of what there is to see along the trail today. Many communities grew along the Santa Fe Trail in northeastern New Mexico in order to provide goods, services, food, shelter and water to the many wagon trains passing through. As the wagon trains gave way to the railroad, mining and cattle became important to life on the trail. Today, cattle remain, but traveling the highways and byways by automobiles is now the main mode of transportation, and art, recreation and culture are major attractions. In fact, even some of the smallest communities along the Santa Fe Trail boast art studios, galleries and gift shops. And of course, Santa Fe itself is considered one of the top three art destinations in the world.
Tour the sites on the Santa Fe Trail New Mexico National Scenic Byway by Name
The many wonderful places to visit and things to do while traveling the New Mexico Santa Fe Trail National Scenic Byway are listed alphabetically below. You may scroll through, or select a letter below to jump to that section.
AMELIA WHITE PARK
This small city park on the NE corner of Old Santa Fe Trail and Camino Corrales was given to the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico by philanthropist Amelia White.
ARTHUR JOHNSON MEMORIAL LIBRARY/WPA PROJECT
Located in historic downtown Raton, New Mexico, this former post office building is home to a large collection of WPA art.
AZTEC MILL MUSEUM
A noted SFT landmark, the stone-block Aztec Mill built in 1864 was operated as a grist mill by Lucien Maxwell until 1870.
BARRIO DE ANALCO HISTORIC DISTRICT
A working class neighborhood of Spanish Colonial design, the Barrio is characterized by adobe brick, flat-roofed, pueblo-style buildings found throughout the region.
BOY SCOUT MUSEUM
The Boy Scout Musuem in Raton, NM is located just one block south of the Amtrak Station and BNSF Train Depot.
BLUE MOON ECLECTICS
Art, collectibles, jewelry, pottery and country coffee are just a few items to be found here.--Read More--
BRIDGE STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT
With the arrival of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad in 1879, downtown Las Vegas became more prosperous and new building materials arrived by rail.
This antique-laden, two-story hotel in downtown Springer, New Mexico was built in 1922.
This art gallery features fine art by well-known artists Bennett Strahan and J.D. Challenger
CANADIAN RIVER CANYON
In the bottom of the Canadian River Canyon are the remains of a stone mansion, cisterns and bunk houses of rancher Melvin W. Mills.
CAPULIN VOLCANO NATIONAL MONUMENT
Located in Union County, Capulin Volcano National Monument protects and preserves a perfectly symmetrical volcanic crater, an outstanding example of an extinct cinder cone.
Located in Mora County, Charette Lakes was formed from the center of a volcano. The area offers fishing and camping.
CIMARRON ART GALLERY
Located in the heart of Cimarron's art community, the Cimarron Art Gallery offers a diverse collection of southwestern art.
CIMARRON CANYON STATE PARK
Part of the stunningly beautiful 33,000 acre Colin Neblett Wildlife Area, the Palisades of the Cimarron are a popular photo spot within the canyon.
CIMARRON HISTORIC DISTRICT
Cimarron prospered during the 1850s throught the 1870's thanks to the Santa Fe Trail. The trail entered the Old Plaza from the NE and followed NM 21 south to the hamlet of Rayado.
CIMARRON MULE DAYS
The wild west comes alive every year at the Maverick Grounds in Cimarron, New Mexico.
CLAYTON ART FESTIVAL
The Clayton Arts Festival is held every year in October and has a reputation of providing northeast New Mexico with some of the finest art in the region.
CLAYTON LAKE STATE PARK
Located in Union County, the Clayton Lake State Park offers fishing and camping. Visitors can visit one of the largest areas of preserved dinosaur tracks nearby.
CLAYTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS HISTORIC DISTRICT/WPA
This school in Clayton, New Mexico, built in Pueblo Revival architectural style, is a 1930's WPA product.
CLIFTON HOUSE (RUINS)
Part of one adobe wall and scattered foundation stones along the west are all that remain of this three-story, balconied Barlow & Sanderson Stage Line stop.
COLFAX COUNTY COURTHOUSE/WPA PROJECT
The building is one of the more elaborately decorated courthouses on the E side of the state.
DISTRITO DE LAS ESCUELAS
These sites are the earliest homes in Las Vegas. Many of the homes are constructed of traditional adobe with flat roofs and predate 1846.
A unique home consisting of a log cabin and two-story Gothic Revival stone mansion situated on the rolling grasslands of northeastern New Mexico.
DOUGLAS-SIXTH STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT
By 1900, the district boasted some of the finest Victorian commercial buildings in New Mexico.
EKLUND HOTEL, DINING ROOM & SALOON
The Eklund is a three-story, native sandstone building, built 1892-1905 by Swedish immigrant Carl Eklund.
EL PORTAL HOTEL/WPA PROJECT
The hotel housed the original WPA Project office for the region and was the location of WPA-supported art classes.
Behind El Zaguan was once a corral where freighters on the Old Santa Fe Trail kept their oxen, horses and mules while in town.
FEDERAL BUILDING/WPA PROJECT
Six large murals by William P. Henderson were funded by the WPA Project and installed in 1938 and can be viewed in the lobby.
Photo shows the earthen mounds of Fort Marcy, atop Fort Marcy Hill. This Certified Site of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail is located in the Santa Fe Historic District.
FORT MARCY OFFICERS' RESIDENCE
Built in 1870 as part of the Fort Marcy compound, it was one of 7 officers' quarters built along Lincoln and Grant Avenues.
FT. UNION NATIONAL MONUMENT
Principal supply post in the SW. Provided escort and protection for travelers at west end of Santa Fe Trail.
GALLINAS CANYON CAMPGROUND COMPLEX
Santa Fe Trail traveler Giovanni Maria Augustini, an Italian holy man, lived in a cave near its summit from 1863-1866.
The Gallinas, a dependable water source, enabled the early Spanish settlement of Las Vegas to flourish.
GLORIETA MESA (ALSO SANTA FE COUNTY)
In March, 1862, a detachment of 400 Union troops traveled W across the mesa top undetected and destroyed the Texan Confederate supply train in Canoncito, ending the nearby Battle of Glorieta Pass.
The 7,432' high pass, a 1/2 mi.-wide saddle crested by I-25, is blanketed by Santa Fe National Forest's
GLORIETA PASS BATTLEFIELD (PIGEON'S RANCH)
This adobe building is all that remains of Alexander Valle's 18-room stage station complex.
GOAT HILL OVERLOOK
The overlook offers a superlative panorama of the volcanic peaks 8720' high Sierra Grande, 7761' high Eagle Tail Peak and 7,533' high Red River Peak.
About halfway between Watrous and Las Vegas, Hermit Peak can be noted in the range of mountains that fill the horizon on the west.
HERZSTEIN MEMORIAL MUSEUM
The museum houses many fine displays on early history of Union County, especially of the homestead era.
These curative thermal springs, which attracted Indians, settlers, soldiers and outlaws over the centuries.
INTERNATIONAL ART SHOW
The Raton Arts & Humanities Council, Inc. presents the International Art Show during the second week in September. The juried show features over one hundred paintings and sculptures by local and regional artists.
KEARNY GAP (PUERTO DEL NORTE)
Place where William Becknell party met Captain Pedro Galego and the Mexican militia.
KIOWA NATIONAL GRASSLANDS
A two-mile section of the SFT Cimarron Route has been preserved here in this largely revegetated national grasslands.
KIT CARSON MUSEUM
Recreated historic site which incorporates some of the original walls of Carson's home.
KOZLOWSKI'S RANCH (PECOS NAT'L HISTORICAL PARK)
Was Union field headquarters during the 1862 Civil War battle of Glorieta Pass.
L. MARTIN PAVLETICH STUDIO
Evocative fine art in pastels and oils. Although best known for his southwestern landscapes, Pavletich's still-lifes are exquisite.
LA CUEVA FLOUR MILL
The ruins of the mill, built in 1860, harken back to the days when the hamlet provided flour for Santa Fe Trail traffic.
LA FONDA HOTEL
This four-story former Fred Harvey Hotel, the "Inn at the End of the Trail," was built in 1922 on the site of the former Exchange Hotel, a trail landmark.
LAS VEGAS PLAZA HISTORIC DISTRICT
The Plaza, heart of West Las Vegas, is the original settlement of the town.
LAS VEGAS SANTA FE TRAIL INTERPRETIVE CENTER
Located on Historic Bridge Street the history of the Santa Fe Trail comes alive through hundreds of photos and books.
LITTLE BEAR GALLERY & FRAMEWORKS
The Little Bear Gallery features art by owner Cindy Montoya as well as prominent southwestern artists in watercolor, oils and photography.
Learn about the "miracle" staircase built by the mysterious carpenter. Visit the Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
MAXWELL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
This 3,270-acre wildlife refuge has a natural alkaline playa lake for Canadian geese and other water fowl.
The long adobe house with wide wooden posts and railing on the veranda can only be seen from NM 21.
Franklin, MO traders Robert McNees and Daniel Munro were killed here by Indians in 1828.
MELVIN MILLS MANSION
This three story adobe mansion was known as Melvin Mill's home ranch, a territorial 20 room mansion with the tallest staircase in New Mexico.
Its hot springs lured Indians, settlers, soldiers and outlaws.
MORA RIVER TO SAPELLO STRIKE VALLEY VISTA
About 1 mi. S of Sapello, after leaving the strike valleys, are remnants of the Mora-La Cueva Wagon Road that climbs the hill on both sides of NM 518.
This National Historic Landmark, part of the Raton/Clayton Volcanic Field was a landmark for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail.
Museum Hill, once a saddle where the historic Santa Fe Trail crossed, is marked by two state museums.
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS/WPA PROJECT
The museum is home to the largest single New Deal art collection in New
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE/SOUTHWEST OFFICE/WPA
Noted Santa Fe architect John Gaw Meem designed this building. The National Historic Landmark and its furnishings were funded by New Deal programs. The art collection includes Native American pottery, furniture and paintings.
NRA WHITTINGTON CENTER
Founded in 1973, the 33,000-acre facility is the largest and most complete shooting and hunting complex in the world.
OLD PASS GALLERY
This former Wells Fargo building near the Santa Fe Railway depot in Raton, New Mexico now houses the Raton Arts and Humanities, Inc. office.
OLD RATON PASS/NHL OVERLOOK
The photograph shows the view from the Goat Hill Overlook looking over the city of Raton, New Mexico (below).
OUR LADY OF SORROWS CHURCH
Towering stone-block Catholic church and campo santo, (Spanish- "graveyard") in Las Vegas's Old Town.
PALACE OF GOV.'S BUFFALO ROAST & MOUNTAIN MAN RDVZ
Held every early August weekend since 1984; offers 30 reenactors in 1830s-era mountain man attire.
PALACE OF THE GOVERNORS
The Palace of the Governors occupies an entire block. It is now a museum with an extensive gift shop.
PECOS NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
The 5,660-acre National Historic Park's centerpieces are the ruins of a 14th century Indian pueblo and two 17th century Franciscan missions.
PECOS RIVER CAMPGROUND COMPLEX
Four public campgrounds at 7,400'-8,300' in elevation with 16 RV campsites at the closest, Field Tract.
Designated in 1933, this 223,333-acre wilderness cradles the headwaters of the Pecos River.
PLACES WITH A PAST HISTORIC BUILDINGS TOUR
Generous property owners open their doors and volunteer docents give guided tours through selected historic buildings.
PLAZA AND SOLDIERS' MONUMENT
The Plaza is the center of Santa Fe and has continued to be the social and commercial center of Santa Fe since 1607.
POINT OF ROCKS NATIONAL HISTORIC DISTRICT
Numerous teepee rings, 11 unmarked graves and sweeping views of SFT ruts can be seen here.
POST OFFICE/WPA PROJECT
New Deal (PWPA) artist Joseph Fleck created two murals inside the post office in 1936.
R. H. COWAN LIVERY STABLE
This stone block building anchors a cluster of historic buildings on Main Street in Springer, New Mexico.
RABBIT EARS MOUNTAIN
These 6,062' high twin volcanic peaks dominate the High Plains landscape for several miles in all directions.
RATON BALLOON RALLY
Independence Day celebration in Raton, New Mexico consists of an exhibition of hot-air balloons over a three-day weekend.
RATON COUNTRY CLUB AND GOLF COURSE
At the foothills of the Rocky Mountains this course offers incredible views of not only the landscape, but also of the herds of deer, wild turkey, foxes and the occasional bear.
RATON DOWNTOWN HISTORIC DISTRICT
The Raton Historic District preserves 70 Victorian era bldgs.
RATON MESAS (BARTLETT, HORSESHOE & JOHNSON)
These discontinuous mesas, sandstone-capped by seven-million-year- old basaltic lava flows, dominate the geography NE, E & SE of Raton
RATON MUSEUM (COORS BUILDING)
Small storefront history and art museum is in the 1906 Coors Building, which is on the State Register of Cultural Properties.
RATON/CLAYTON VOLCANIC FIELD (WEST)
Although they are on private land, the peaks can be seen from the Scenic Byway, (US 64), as well as from Raton especially from Goat Hill Overlook.
The Raton Pass is the highest point on the Santa Fe Trail. Its summit is 7,834 feet above sea level.
In 1929 the ranch was purchased by Tulsa oilman Waite Phillips, who donated it to the Boy Scouts of America in 1941.
RIO GRANDE RIFT VALLEY
The valley, a vast, irregular structural depression known as a graben, defines the distant landscapes about Santa Fe.
ROGERS HALL-NM HIGHLANDS UNIVERSITY/WPA PROJECT
Fresco mural-"The Dissemination of Education in New Mexico" by Lloyd Moylan created by WPA/FAP in 1937. Educational theme traces its evolution from Creation to New Mexicans engaging in all forms of activities up to modern technology.
ROUGH RIDERS ANTIQUES
This large antique store located on historic Bridge Street is home to a wide variety of collectibles, books, rugs, jewelry and furniture.
ROUND MOUND (MT. CLAYTON)
In the 1800's, this singular, irregularly shaped promontory in the high plains ranch country of west Union County, due south of the town of Grenville, NM, was called Round Mound by Santa Fe Trail travelers.
RUN FOR THE WALL
Every year in an incredible number of motocyclists cross the ruts of the Santa Fe Trail on their drive through Cimarron, New Mexico on their way to Raton, New Mexico.
SAN MIGUEL DEL VADO HISTORIC DISTRICT
Photograph shows the Santa Fe Trail approach from the Pecos River to the Plaza.
SAN MIGUEL MISSION
Built in 1626, the oldest mission in the United States dates from Santa Fe's founding to serve Mexican Indians conscripted by Spaniards as soldiers and servants.
SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS (NE VIEW)
The coniferous forests, spilling S from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, provided firewood for trail caravans and building materials for settlers.
SANTA CLARA & HILLSIDE CEMETERIES
In Santa Clara Catholic Cemetery is an extraordinary white marble tombstone of Santa Fe Trail freighter Charles Fraker (1841-1922).
SANTA FE HISTORIC DISTRICT
Oldest capital city in the U.S. founded in 1610 as site of the second provisional capital for the northern frontier of the Viceroyalty of New Spain (Mexico).
SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST
The coniferous Santa Fe National Forest blankets the S end of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
LAS VEGAS SANTA FE TRAIL INTERPRETIVE CENTER
Located on Historic Bridge Street the history of the Santa Fe Trail comes alive through hundreds of photos and books.
SANTA FE TRAIL MUSEUM
Includes many art exhibits and artifacts pertaining to the Santa Fe Trail and early pioneering life.
SANTA FE TRAIL RENDEZVOUS
300 reenactors participate in a living-history rendezvous of pre-1840's clad mountain men with a black-powder shoot, hatchet throw, and teepee village.
SAPELLO STAGE STATION (GREGG'S TAVERN)
The pitch-roofed Sapello Stage Station, a National Historic Landmark, sports a territorial style portal and resembles a well-preserved country inn.
SENA, PRINCE & TRUJILLO PLAZAS
This property and the small patio to the west came into the hands of the Sena family through a bequest in 1844 to the mother of Don Jose D. Sena, a Major in the US Civil War
The theater, built in 1915, was designed in European Rococo style and boasts near-perfect acoustics. The lobby is decorated with WPA art murals.
A huge, sprawling 8,720' high dormant shield Volcano dominating the Raton/Clayton Volcanic Field. Visible from Raton, New Mexico 35 mi. NW.
ST. FRANCIS CATHEDRAL
Stone was quarried and hauled for 15 years in order to complete the building. Its stained glass windows were imported from France.
ST. JAMES HOTEL
Two-story adobe structure which was the scene of several Wild West killings. During restoration completed in 1985, early guest registers were discovered, so it's known who stayed in which rooms.
ST. MICHAEL'S COLLEGE DORMITORY (LAMY BUILDING)
Located in the Barrio de Analco Historic District. The building was erected in 1878 and was typical of 19th Century architecture.
STARVATION PEAK (BERNAL)
This 7,042' high butte, visible to motorists on nearby I-25 for some distance, anchors the N end of a small, separate segment of Santa Fe National Forest.
STORRIE LAKE STATE PARK
This treeless 1,200 acre lake, (established in 1960), a mecca for windsurfers from May through October, attracts water skiers, jet skiers, trout fishermen and RV campers. There are also swimming, boating and winter sports available.
SUGARITE CANYON STATE PARK
The park, near the north end of secluded Sugarite Canyon, contains historic exhibits, lakes, campsites and hiking trails.
TESUQUE CAMPGROUND COMPLEX
Public recreation on United State Forest Service Scenic Byway only a few mi. NE of Santa Fe Plaza. Horseback riding, skiing nearby.
Foundations of homes and buildings line the tree-shaded former Main Street. The delapidated stage coach station and three other deserted trail-era homes remain.
Some of the treasures you'll find in the Treasure Shop are glassware, furniture, vintage posters and more. Make this shop one of your "must see" places on the Santa Fe Trail.
UNION COUNTY COURTHOUSE
The Union County Courthouse, inspired by the architecture of the 1893 World's Fair, replaced the original courthouse which was destroyed by a tornado in 1908-the only one to have ever visited Clayton.
UNION COUNTY JULY 4TH CELEBRATION
Independence Day celebration in Clayton, New Mexico includes a FUNdraiser Pie Sale.
See wagon tracks of the old Santa Fe Trail and be transported back in time as you imagine the conestoga wagons creaking along the trail toward their destination.
VILLANUEVA STATE PARK
Hidden among pinon and juniper-studded hills and red and yellow sandstone cliffs, and hugging the cottonwood-shaded east bank of the trout-stocked Pecos River.
Wagon Mound was named because of its resemblance to a conestoga wagon. The village of Wagon Mound sits at the base.
Pioneer buildings are very old, some dating to the latter days of the trail, including what is probably the oldest Protestant church in New Mexico.
WATROUS STORE & HOME
A white adobe structure shaped in a quadrangle, the store and home opened by Samuel Watrous in 1849 is the headquarters of the 5,000-acre Doolittle Ranch.
WILLOW SPRINGS OVERLOOK
Breathtaking overlook of the meadowlands between the Canadian River and the Sugarite fomerly compromising the Willow Springs forage station.