Santa Fe Trail

SFT marker
Santa Fe Trail marker near Kozlowski's Trading Post at Pecos National Historical Park.

NPS Photo

Trail History

From wagon ruts to trading posts, remnants of the historical Santa Fe Trail can still be seen at Pecos National Historical Park.

During the Civil War Battle of Glorieta Pass, trading posts along the Santa Fe Trail were used by both Union and Confederate troops as encampments, headquarters, and hospitals, and even as the backdrop for one of the most decisive battles of the war.

As the western territories gained independence from Spain and were eventually annexed from Mexico, the Santa Fe Trail became central to the story of expansion and development in the United States. Along the trail, trappers, traders, fortune seekers, adventurers, journalists, naturalists, and everyday travelers headed west into these new territories. This westward movement played an important role in the use, development, and eventual demise of the Santa Fe Trail.

Respite at Kozlowski's

Journeying on the Santa Fe Trail from Missouri to New Mexico was long and arduous, but there were many stops along the way- Boone’s Lick, Switzler Creek, Lost Spring, Point of Rocks to name a few. Here at Pecos National Historical Park, you can step back in time at Kozlowski’s Stage Stop and Trading Post, where weary travelers rested a day’s ride from Santa Fe and explored the ruins of the mission church and pueblo. Learn more about Kozlowski’s and the Santa Fe Trail, sign up for a guided tour of the Forked Lightning Ranch, or attend a ranger-guided walk of the Battle of Glorieta Pass when you visit the park.

For an excellent firsthand account of travel along the Santa Fe Trail, follow this link to Col. Henry Inman's Stories of the Old Santa Fe Trail, first published in 1881.

Want to learn more? Return back to the History Timeline.

Other National Park sites that relate to the Santa Fe National Historic Trail:

El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail

Old Spanish National Historic Trail

Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site

Fort Union National Monument

Last updated: January 21, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Pecos National Historical Park
P.O. Box 418

Pecos, NM 87552

Phone:

(505) 757-7241

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