• Two-wheeled carretas carried goods up El Camino from Mexico City in 1598; walking the trail in the Jornada del Muerto, a scorching 90-mile stretch of El Camino wherein colonists had to leave the cool Rio Grande to continue their journey north

    El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro

    National Historic Trail NM,TX

Point of Rocks

Jornada del Muerto Overview
The Jornada del Muerto was a desolate 90-mile stretch on El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (Royal Road of the Interior). During this part of the historic route, no water or forage was available to trail travelers

Point of Rocks Trail Overview
This ½-mile loop trail ends at the top of a rock outcrop that was a landmark for travelers on El Camino Real. Point of Rocks told travelers that water was only 10 miles away.

To access Point of Rocks Trailhead on Sierra County Road A013 (near Truth or Consequences, NM):

  • From the north: Take I-25 Exit #79 and head east on 51, then south on County Road A013 (Upham Road); 30 miles from I-25.
  • From the south: Take I-25 Exit #35 to County Road E072, which turns into County Road E070, which turns into County Road A013 (Upham Road).
 

These exhibits can be viewed using Adobe Acrobat Reader. To download this free program, click here. If you have a slow internet connection, it may take a few minutes to access the files.

 
Point of Rocks

The Royal Road
Orientation to El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro and the Jornada del Muerto.
(240 KB pdf)

 
Point of Rocks Trail Overview

Point of Rocks
Orientation to the Point of Rocks trail and site history. (193 KB pdf)

 
Trails to Rails


Trails to Rails
Photography shows the historic route of El Camino Real as compared to the modern railroad and interstate. (231 KB pdf)

 
Leaving the River

Leaving the River
Covers challenges of trail travel when forced to take this waterless route along the Jornada del Muerto. (620 KB pdf)

 
A Land Without Water

Land Without Water
Importance of when to cross the Jornada del Muerto. (544 KB pdf)

Did You Know?

Traces of a dirt road, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, stretch across a southern New Mexico desert landscape

El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro was used by settlers, missionaries, military, and traders for almost 300 years. When the railroad reached New Mexico in 1880, the Camino Real gradually fell into disuse. Today, Interstate-25 generally follows the historic route of the centuries-old trail.