National Trails Intermountain Region staff representing the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail worked with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Trail Association (CARTA) to open a new retracement hiking trail, signage, and exhibits, which were unveiled on October 30, 2010. Hosted by the BLM, the event included a guided tour of one of the two new trails, located along a section of the historic Jornada del Muerto (Journey of the Dead Man), a desolate 90 mile stretch of the royal road notorious for its lack of water or forage.
The Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service are joint administrators of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail. These agencies work together to foster trail preservation and public use along the 404 miles of the “Royal Road of the Interior Lands” located in Texas and New Mexico. The historic route stretched 1,600 miles and tied Spain’s colonial capital at Mexico City to its northern frontier in distant New Mexico.
“It is amazing what we can offer to visitors when we work together,” stated Superintendent Aaron Mahr. “In addition to enjoyment of the recreational aspect of the retracement trail, we are also preserving the sites of early trail travelers. Today’s trail travelers walk in the footsteps of American Indians, Catholic priests, and Spanish conquistadors, while catching a glimpse of the landscape they saw 400 years ago.
More information, including photographs and links to news clips, can be found at the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail website.