Welcome to Old Spanish National Historic Trail Education page! Here, you will find a variety of lessons and activities for grades 4-12. The Old Spanish Trail historic lessons teach students about the harrowing journey of traders along the route from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Los Angeles, California. Traders traveled with mule packs along the trail, and exchanged localized goods for horses. We encourage you to utilize and incorporate these lessons into your classroom as you deem fit.

National Historic Trails Lesson Plan

View the Pathways and Perspectives Lesson Plan.

This 3-5 day lesson focuses on the skills of collaboration and presentation in an effort to teach students about the content and concepts along nine of the national historic trails. The purpose of this is to have them not only research and understand, but also think critically about the pathways and perspectives of trail travelers. This multiday lesson plan was created by a Colorado teacher for national historic trails (see below).

Curriculum Recommendations

Through the National Park Service’s Teacher to Ranger to Teacher Program, in coordination with Colorado University - Denver, an educator joined National Trails Intermountain Region to evaluate existing curriculum for national historic trails, including the Old Spanish Trail, for placement on a teachers website. This is a work in progress. The curriculum examples were chosen by our 2017 Teacher to Ranger to Teacher Program educator Caleb, a Colorado high school teacher.

Search through the Teachers portal:

Teacher Ranger Teacher Program

More about Caleb and his work as a Teacher Ranger Teacher
About the Teacher Ranger Teacher program and opportunities for teachers

Last updated: November 8, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

National Trails Intermountain Region
Old Spanish National Historic Trail
PO Box 728

Santa Fe, NM 87504


(505) 988-6098

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