Frequently Asked Questions
Where is El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail? In the US, the trail stretches from Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico (29 miles north of Santa Fe) to El Paso, Texas for 404 miles (650 km). The historic corridor extends to Mexico City, Mexico for a total of about 1,441 miles (2,320 km)
Where can I obtain the official map and guide brochure? Trail brochures may be obtained from a number of locations. Many museums and visitor centers along the trail distribute our free brochures. The Places To Go page provides a sample of some of the sites along the trail that may carry our publications. See our publications page to download brochures directly, or email us to request one.
How do I visit or follow the trail? This national historic trail is not a clearly marked hiking trail. Instead, it is a corridor that passes through communities as well as wild areas and through different states and land ownership. We encourage you to go to the Places To Go web pages to discover the many sites you can visit. Your travels on the trail are rich with cultural history: missions, parajes (resting spots), hikes, and museums. Sites in New Mexico and Texas are listed north to south.
ACCESS: Visitors can follow parts of the original trail on public lands and approximate other parts by driving the roads that travel near the historical route. However, many parts of the original trail are privately owned, have been destroyed by development, are under plow, or cross military or American Indian tribal reserves. There is no public trail access across private property and reserves. Before entering those lands, you must locate the owners and ask their permission.
Where can I get my Passport stamped? Go to the Passport for Your National Parks web pages on this website for stamp locations in New Mexico and Texas.
Do you have educational materials for teachers? Visit the Education web page for two teacher resources. We would be happy to mail you our official map and guide brochure for your classroom. Send an email to: e-mail us with your contact information, mailing address, and the quantity of guides you need for your class.
What is El Camino Real? From 1598 to 1882 El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro was part of a network of royal roads throughout Mexico that ran from Spanish capital to Spanish capital. When Mexican independence was achieved, El Camino Real ceased to be a royal road, because the Spanish crown had been ousted. However, the route continued to be in use during the Mexican National Period, as Mexican and Indian travelers, traders, settlers, soldiers, clergymen, and Anglo merchants continued their activities along it.
How can I visit and learn more about sites on El Camnio Real that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places? For a list of National Register sites accessible to the public, here is a wonderful travel guide www.nps.gov/nr/travel/El_Camino_Real_de_Tierra_Adentro/
What year was the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail established? Congress established the trail in October 2000.
Who owns El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail? El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail is administered by the National Park Service (National Trails Intermountain Region) and the Bureau of Land Management, but the actual route on the ground is owned or managed by public, private, nonprofit, state, county, and local landowners. National Trails Intermountain Region works with these landowners to identify the historic trail resources, provide site planning and design, map the trail, and develop educational opportunities. National Trails Intermountain Region does not own any land on the trail.
What is a national trail? Much like a national park, a national trail is created by an act of Congress. National historic trails are congressionally designated official routes that reflect the research, review, and recommendation of many trail experts. National historic trails commemorate historic trade, migration, and other routes important to American culture.
How can I learn more about El Camino Real National Historic Trail and take part in organized activities along the trail? The nonprofit organization that helps research, tour, sign, interpret, and protect the trail is El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Trail Association. Visit their website at: http://www.caminorealcarta.org/