- Historic Sites
El Camino Real Heritage Center
The El Camino Heritage Center tells the story of more than three centuries of trade and commerce that traversed the trail, linking Spain, Mexico and the United States at a time when mules, trains, and horses were the only means of land travel. The center is set amidst the Chihuahuan Desert north of the Jornada del Muerto and houses a remarkable exhibit that takes visitors on a virtual journey along the historic trail from Zacatecas, Mexico to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Discover the indigenous people encountered by the Spanish and the impact the arrival of the Spanish had on the formation of New Mexico. Remnants of the early journey remain today in hand-hewn carts, tools, leather water jugs, and religious altars and objects that accompanied the travelers into the northern territory. Venture through art and artifacts, previous treasure from the frontier of New Spain. Experience the journeys of Native Americans, Spaniards, Mexicans, the military fort period and the first Anglo settlers from the Eastern United States, through first-person stories and the art and objects they brought with them. Discover the conflict, the confluence of cultures, and the ideas that have forged New Mexico, the Southwest, and the nation.