El Camino Real Historic Trail Site

This site, located 35 miles south of Socorro, charts the journey and significance of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (the Royal Road to the Interior Land). The historic trade route traversed the same landscape on which the state-owned museum is situated, on the path of the very trail it interprets.

Originally extending from Mexico City to Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo), the 1,500-mile trail was followed into New Mexico by Spanish explorer Juan de Oñate, who in 1598 claimed New Mexico as a colony of Spain. The riverside route tracked a course of ancient and established Indian trails. For the next 300 years, it was the primary route into New Mexico for Spanish friars, colonists and military officials as well as other adventurous settlers.

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