Though it traverses five states, follow the Santa Fe National Historic Trail from Franklin, Missouri, to Council Grove, Kansas, and you'll find adventure and evidence of past travelers who made this remarkable trip before you!


OPERATING HOURS VARY FROM SITE TO SITE. There are many historic sites, museums, and parks (federal, state, and local) along the Santa Fe National Historic Trail in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, or Oklahoma for you to visit. Please contact individual sites for more information by going to P

Contact Information

Council Grove, KS 66846
Phone: 505-988-6098

Location Type

Interpretive Signs
Natural Area
Driving Tours

Site Info

Wheel Chair Accessible

Between 1821 and 1880, the Santa Fe Trail was primarily a commercial highway connecting Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. From 1821 until 1846, it was an international commercial highway used by Mexican and American traders. In 1846, the Mexican-American War began. The Army of the West followed the Santa Fe Trail to invade New Mexico. When the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war in 1848, the Santa Fe Trail became a national road connecting the United States to the new southwest territories. Commercial freighting along the trail continued, including considerable military freight hauling to supply the southwestern forts. The trail was also used by stagecoach lines, thousands of gold seekers heading to the California and Colorado gold fields, adventurers, fur trappers, and emigrants. In 1880 the railroad reached Santa Fe and the trail faded into history.

You can visit many sites of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail over the 900-mile historic route. Please use the Places to Go and Maps web pages to access site-specific information.

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